2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN
DAY 12 MEN’S NOTES
Friday 27 January
Semifinals Bottom Half
9 RAFAEL NADAL (ESP) v NO. 15 GRIGOR DIMITROV (BUL)
Head-to-head: Nadal leads 7-1
2009 Rotterdam Hard (I) R16 Nadal 75 36 62
2013 Monte Carlo-1000 Clay (O) QF Nadal 62 26 64
2013 Cincinnati-1000 Hard (O) R16 Nadal 62 57 62
2014 Australian Open Hard (O) QF Nadal 36 76(3) 76(7) 62
2014 Rome-1000 Clay (O) SF Nadal 62 62
2015 Madrid-1000 Clay (O) QF Nadal 63 64
2015 Basel Hard (I) R16 Nadal 64 46 63
2016 Beijing Hard (O) QF Dimitrov 62 64
A 9th career meeting between the 2 players but only their 2nd at a Grand Slam, with their only other meeting at a major coming in the quarterfinals here in 2014.
Dimitrov ended a 7-match losing streak against Nadal by winning their most recent meeting in the quarterfinals at 2016 Beijing. Nadal has a 4-1 win-loss record against Dimitrov on a hard court, but the Bulgarian has always won at least a set in their hard court encounters.
If 30-year-old Nadal wins today, he will face either 31-year-old Wawrinka or 35-year-old Federer in the final – only the 5th time in the Open Era that a Grand Slam men’s singles final has been contested by two 30-somethings. With Venus Williams (36) and Serena Williams (35) through to the women’s final here, it would also mark the first time in the Open Era that all 4 singles finalists – men and women – have been aged 30 or over. [NB written prior to Thursday’s men’s singles semifinal]
NADAL v DIMITROV
30 Age 25
6’1”/1.85m Height 6’3”/1.91m
9 ATP Ranking 15
69 Titles 5
208-31 Career Grand Slam Record 38-25
14 titles Best Grand Slam Result 2 semifinals
50-10 Australian Open Record 16-6
813-175 Career Record 226-142
388-118 Career Record – Hard 139-91
7-1 2017 Record 10-0
7-1 2017 Record – Hard 10-0
18-8 Career Five-Set Record 5-5
3 Comebacks from 0-2 Down 0
201-132 Career Tiebreak Record 93-76
1-1 2017 Tiebreak Record 3-0
Possible final head-to-heads
Road to the Semifinals
|d. Florian Mayer 63 64 64
d. Marcos Baghdatis 63 61 63
|2:04 2:13||1st round
|d. (WC) Christpher O’Connell 76(2) 63 63
d. Hyeon Chung 16 64 64 64
|d. No. 24 Alexander Zverev 46 63 67(5) 63 62||4:06||3rd round||2:02||d. No. 18 Richard Gasquet 63 62 64|
|d. No. 6 Gael Monfils 63 63 46 64||2:56||Round of 16||2:25||d. (WC) Denis Istomin 26 76(2) 62 61|
|d. No. 3 Milos Raonic 64 76(7) 64||2:44||Quarterfinals||2:13||d. No. 11 David Goffin 63 62 64|
|total time on court||14:03||(IBM time)||11:18||total time on court|
- 2009 Australian Open champion NADAL is bidding to reach his first Grand Slam final since he won the title at 2014 Roland Garros.
- Nadal is bidding to reach his 4th Australian Open final and become the 8th man in the Open Era to reach 4 or more Australian Open finals.
No. of Australian Open final appearances (Open Era)
Active players in bold
[NB Written prior to Federer’s semifinal with Wawrinka]
- Nadal is also looking to reach his 21st Grand Slam final and equal Novak Djokovic in 2nd place on the all-time list for most Grand Slam finals reached:
Grand Slam finals reached (all-time)
|Player||No. of GS finals|
Active players in bold
[NB Written prior to Federer’s semifinal match with Wawrinka]
- Nadal has a 20-3 win-loss record in Grand Slam semifinals and a 3-1 win-loss record in semifinals here. The last time he lost a semifinal at one of the majors was when he suffered his worst Grand Slam defeat (in terms of games won), losing 62 62 62 to Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open.
Nadal’s Grand Slam semifinal defeats
|2009 US Open r||l. Juan Martin del Potro 62 62 62|
|2008 US Open||l. Andy Murray 62 76(5) 46 64|
|2008 Australian Open||l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 62 63 62|
- Along with Federer and Wawrinka, Nadal is one of the 3 players aged 30 or over to reach the semifinals here from the 46 who started the men’s main draw – equalling the Open Era record for the most 30-somethings to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam set at 1968 Roland Garros. The last time two 30-somethings played each other in a Grand Slam final was at the 2002 US Open, when 31-year-old Pete Sampras defeated 32-year-old Andre Agassi. The last time it happened here was in 1972, when 37-year-old Ken Rosewall defeated 36-year-old Mal Anderson.
- The Australian Open is Nadal’s 2nd most successful Grand Slam in terms of match-wins, but his least successful in terms of titles won.
|Titles won||Win-loss record||Finals reached|
- Nadal is bidding to win his 2nd Australian Open title and become the first man in the Open Era – and only the 3rd man in history – to win each of the 4 Grand Slam titles twice. Roy Emerson and Rod Laver are the only players to have won each Grand Slam on two or more occasions [see Preview page 3].
- By reaching his 5th Australian Open semifinal, Nadal has moved into joint-7th position on the list for most appearances in the last 4 here in the Open Era.
Australian Open semifinals reached (Open Era)
|Player||No. of AO semifinals|
Active players in bold
- By reaching his 24th Grand Slam semifinal, Nadal has closed the gap on Andre Agassi in 5th place on the list for the most Grand Slam semifinal appearances in the Open Era. Only Federer (41), Jimmy Connors (31), Djokovic (31), Ivan Lendl (28) and Agassi (26) have reached more semifinals at the majors than Nadal.
- By defeating Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals here, Nadal recorded his 50th Australian Open match-win and became the 4th man in the Open Era to record 50 Australian Open match-wins after Federer, Djokovic and Edberg.
Most Australian Open match-wins (Open Era)
Active players in bold. *Written prior to Federer’s semifinal match with Wawrinka here
- By reaching the semifinals here, Nadal is projected to rise to No. 6 when the new ATP Rankings are released on Monday 30 January – unless Dimitrov goes on to win the title here, when Nadal would be No. 7. If Nadal wins the title here, he will rise to No. 4.
- By defeating No. 6 Gael Monfils in the round of 16 and No. 3 Raonic in the quarterfinals here, Nadal recorded back-to-back match-wins over Top 10 opposition at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2014 Roland Garros, when he defeated No. 5 David Ferrer in the quarterfinals, No. 8 Andy Murray in the last 4 and No. 2 Djokovic in the final. His win over Monfils here ended a 4-match losing streak against Top 10 players and was his first Top 10 win since he defeated No. 6 Kei Nishikori to win the title at 2016 Barcelona.
- By defeating Zverev in 5-sets in the 3rd round here, Nadal ended a 3-match losing streak in 5-set matches and improved his 5-set record to 18-8. He has a 6-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park.
- Last year here Nadal lost in the 1st round for the first time in his career, falling to Fernando Verdasco in 5 sets. It was just the 2nd time that he had lost in the 1st round at a Grand Slam, having also lost his opening match at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Steve Darcis).
- Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Nadal reached the round of 16 at the US Open (l. Lucas Pouille), but gave a walkover in the 3rd round at Roland Garros and missed Wimbledon due to a left wrist injury. This is his 12th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 47th Grand Slam overall.
- Away from the majors, Nadal’s best results in 2016 came during the clay court season when he won back-to-back titles at Monte Carlo-1000 (d. Monfils) and Barcelona (d. Nishikori). It was his 9th title at both events, and took his career total to 69 titles. Nadal also reached the final at Doha (l. Djokovic) and the semifinals at 5 other tournaments.
- Also in 2016, Nadal won his 2nd gold medal at the Olympic Tennis Event after clinching the men’s doubles title alongside Marc Lopez at Rio 2016. He narrowly missed out on a medal in singles, falling to Nishikori 62 67(1) 63 in the bronze medal play-off.
- Nadal is looking to win his 15th Grand Slam title and close the gap on Federer in the list of all-time Grand Slam title holders. He is currently joint-2nd with Pete Sampras on the list behind Federer (17).
- Nadal’s best performance at the Australian Open is winning the title in 2009 (d. Federer). He also reached the final in 2012, losing to Djokovic in the longest men’s Grand Slam final on record at 5 hours, 53 minutes, and in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka).
- Nadal is the only lefthander to have contested an Australian Open final since 1998 when Petr Korda defeated fellow lefthander Marcelo Rios. Fernando Verdasco is the only other lefthanded player to reach the last 4 here since then – in 2009.
- Nadal is aiming to win his first hard court tournament in over 3 years. He has not won a hard court tournament since defeating Monfils to win the title at 2014 Doha. His total of 16 hard court titles is the 4th highest among active players (behind Federer, Djokovic and Murray).
- Nadal warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Brisbane (l. Milos Raonic). It was his first tournament since October, when he lost to Viktor Troicki at Shanghai-1000, after he pulled out of Basel, Paris-1000 and the ATP World Tour Finals with a wrist injury.
- Nadal has been coached by his uncle, Toni Nadal, for his entire career. He added former Australian Open finalist Carlos Moya to his team ahead of the 2017 season. His fitness trainer is Rafael Maymo.
- DIMITROV is bidding to become the first Bulgarian player – man or woman – to reach the final at a Grand Slam event.
- If Dimitrov reaches his first Grand Slam final on his 26th appearance at a major, he will go joint 9th on the list for the most attempts before reaching a Grand Slam final along with Albert Costa and Andrei Medvedev:
No. of attempts before reaching first Grand Slam final
- If Dimitrov reaches his first Australian Open final on his 7th appearance here, he will go joint-7th on the list for the most attempts before reaching the Australian Open final along with Fernando Gonzalez:
No. of attempts before reaching first Australian Open final
- Dimitrov is bidding to become the first No. 15 seed to reach a Grand Slam final since Arnaud Clement finished runner-up here in 2001. The No. 15 seed has reached a Grand Slam final on 5 occasions in the Open Era, with Michael Chang the only No.15 seed to win a major title – at 1989 Roland Garros.
No. 15 seeds in Grand Slam finals
|No. 15 seed||Result||Grand Slam|
|Tony Roche||l. Rod Laver||1968 Wimbledon|
|Michael Chang||d. Stefan Edberg||1989 Roland Garros|
|Cedric Pioline||l. Pete Sampras||1993 US Open|
|Michael Stich||l. Yevgeny Kafelnikov||1996 Roland Garros|
|Arnaud Clement||l. Andre Agassi||2001 Australian Open|
- Dimitrov is bidding to record his 11th straight Tour-level match-win and record his career-best Tour-level winning streak. By defeating Goffin in the quarterfinals here for his 10th straight Tour-level match-win, he equalled his best Tour-level winning streak – when he won the title at Queen’s through to a semifinal finish at Wimbledon in 2014.
- Dimitrov is bidding to defeat a Top 10 player for the 4th time this month, having defeated No. 8 Dominic Thiem, No. 3 Milos Raonic, and No. 5 Kei Nishikori in consecutive matches to win the title at Brisbane prior to coming here. It was his 5th career title – and first since 2014 Queen’s. 3 of his 5 career titles have come on a hard court.
- Dimitrov is bidding to defeat a Top 10 player at a Grand Slam for the 2nd time. He has a 1-8 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at the majors, with his only win coming against No. 5 Andy Murray in the quarterfinals at 2014 Wimbledon.
- Dimitrov is bidding to defeat 3 seeded players at a Grand Slam for the first time. The only other time he has recorded multiple wins against seeded opposition at a major was at 2014 Wimbledon, when he defeated No. 21 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov and No. 3 seed Murray en route to the semifinals. He has a 3-6 win-loss record against seeded players at the Australian Open and a 7-15 win-loss record against seeded players at the majors overall.
- If he wins today, Dimitrov is projected to rise to No. 10 in the rankings unless Roger Federer wins the title here. If Dimitrov goes on to win the title here, he will rise to career-high ranking of No. 6.
- Dimitrov is bidding to become only the 5th man to have won a pre-Australian Open tournament to go on and reach the final here in the last 10 years. Murray (2013 Brisbane), today’s opponent (2014 Doha), Stan Wawrinka (2014 Chennai) and Novak Djokovic (2016 Doha) are the only men to have reached the Australian Open final after winning a pre-Australian Open warm-up tournament since 2007.
- By reaching the semifinals here for the first time, Dimitrov has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the semifinals at 2014 Wimbledon, where he defeated defending champion Murray in the quarterfinals before losing to Djokovic in the semifinals. He broke into the Top 10 for the first time afterwards at No. 9.
- By reaching his 2nd Grand Slam semifinal, Dimitrov has become the first Bulgarian player – man or woman – to reach multiple Grand Slam semifinals. Tsvetana Pironkova is the only other Bulgarian player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal – at 2010 Wimbledon.
- Dimitrov is the most successful Bulgarian man in history in terms of Grand Slam match-wins. He occupies 5th place on the list for the most Grand Slam match-wins by a Bulgarian player – man or woman.
Most Grand Slam match-wins by a Bulgarian player (all-time)
- By reaching the semifinals here, Dimitrov has become the first No. 15 seed to reach the Australian Open semifinals since Clement finished runner-up in 2001. He is the first No. 15 seed to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam since Tomas Berdych at 2010 Roland Garros.
- By reaching the semifinals here, Dimitrov has recorded his best Australian Open result. His previous best result here is reaching the quarterfinals as No. 22 seed in 2014 (l. Rafael Nadal).
- Dimitrov reached a career-high ranking of No. 8 in August 2014. He dropped as low as No. 40 on 18 July 2016 – his lowest ranking since February 2013 – but has since climbed back up the rankings and plays here at No. 15.
- Dimitrov plays here seeded No. 15 – his highest Grand Slam seeding since he was seeded No. 11 at 2015 Wimbledon. This is the 4th time he has been seeded at the Australian Open.
- Last year here Dimitrov fell to Federer in the 3rd round. This is his 7th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 26th major overall.
- Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Dimitrov reached the round of 16 at the US Open (l. Murray) and the 3rd round at Wimbledon (l. Steve Johnson). He fell to Viktor Troicki in 5 sets in the 1st round at Roland Garros. He has a 5-5 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 2-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.
- Dimitrov’s best results in 2016 were runner-up finishes at Sydney (l. Troicki), Istanbul (l. Diego Schwartzman) and Beijing (l. Murray). He reached 4 further semifinals – at Delray Beach, Cincinnati-1000, Chengdu and Stockholm.
- Dimitrov finished 2008 as 3 in the ITF Junior Rankings after winning the boys’ singles titles at Wimbledon (d. Henri Kontinen) and the US Open (d. Devin Britton).
- Dimitrov has played Davis Cup for Bulgaria since 2008. He has a 16-1 singles win-loss record in Davis Cup and a 20-4 overall win-loss record. Bulgaria will host – and compete in – the Europe/Africa Zone Group III event in Sozopol in April.
- Dimitrov was part of the ITF 14 & Under European Team in Europe in 2004-05 and the ITF 16 & Under European A Team in Europe in 2006, funded by the Grand Slam Development Fund.
- Dimitrov started working with Dani Vallverdu, former coach to Murray and Berdych, in July 2016. His physio is Azdine Bousnana.
*** All statistics courtesy of the Australian Open Media team and the International Tennis Federation.