Dimitrov's fine run continues

Dodig, Andujar enter second round

Dimitrov's fine run continues

Grigor Dimitrov kept up his fine run going by earning a come from behind win against Frenchman Michael Llodra in the first round of the Paris Masters on Tuesday. 

After Llodra had taken the first set via a tie-break 6-7 (5-7), the Bulgarian Dimitrov won the next two 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the second round. 

There were also wins for Croatia’s Ivan Dodig, Pablo Andujar of Spain, France’s Nicolas Mahut and Poland’s Michal Przysiezny. 

France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin came into the tournament with a semifinal appearance at the Swiss Indoors last week but came unstuck against the Croat Dodig to lose 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, while Spain’s Andujar saw off Pospisil, who lost to Roger Federer at the Swiss Indoors, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. 

Much has been expected of Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov but he was felled by Mahut 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, while Przysiezny completed a regulation 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) win over Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen. 

Cilic ecstatic

Marin Cilic, who was on court after four months for a doping ban, said he felt like a kid playing for the first time.

The Croatian, whose ban was reduced from nine to four months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), was overjoyed just to be able to play again while beating Dutchman Igor Sijsling 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round on Monday.

"I felt like a kid playing for the first time," Cilic said.

"The feeling was amazing just to be back on the court, to be competing and I enjoyed every moment.

"My thoughts were just on how much I am enjoying it and how I am happy to be back on the court."

Cilic was initially banned for nine months in September after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said he had failed a test for the banned stimulant nikethamide.

On Monday he explained that he had tested positive for the metabolite of nikethamide.

"It shows that nikethamide was in the system some time before and it's completely inactive and doesn't have any effect on the body," he said.

"I'm definitely waiting for the CAS decision in writing and waiting what the ITF will say with all these things.”

World number one Rafael Nadal said he was happy that Cilic had returned to competitive tennis.

"The only thing that I can say is that I am happy to see Marin back on tour," he told a news conference.

"He's a good guy and a great player. I don't know what happened, but if he's back, it's because it's fair that he's back.  That's all. Happy for that," Nadal added.  

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