PARIS (Reuters) - Grigor Dimitrov geared up for a possible third-round clash with world number one Novak Djokovic with a 6-1 7-6 (4) 6-1 dismissal of French teenager Lucas Pouille in the French Open second round on Thursday.
The Bulgarian 26th seed, who beat Djokovic in the second round of the Madrid claycourt Masters earlier this month, had too much in store for his opponent, who bowed out after sending a forehand into the net.
Dimitrov, 22, had done most of the job before the first of two rain interruptions. He finished it off in ruthless style, moving Pouille left and right with great authority.
Dimitrov, the first Bulgarian man to reach the third round of a grand slam, could now face Djokovic, should the Serbian see off Argentine Guido Pella on Court Philippe Chatrier later on Thursday.
“I‘m going to take a bit of rest because it’s played over the best of five sets,” a beaming Dimitrov, who is seeded for the first time at a grand-slam event, told a courtside interviewer.
“It’s always nice to play the number one in the world. I‘m just going to get ready, it’s just the third round of the tournament.”
Dimitrov beat Djokovic 7-6(6) 6-7(8) 6-3 in Madrid before being eliminated in the third round by Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
In the following tournament, his last before Roland Garros, he was knocked out in the second round by Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon