Grigor Dimitrov Tops Roger Federer for First Time to Advance to US Open Semifinals
(September 3, 2019) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 78 Grigor Dimitrov came into the US Open having lost seven out of eight matches. The Bulgarian came back from two sets to one down to beat No. 3 Roger Federer 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in three-hours and 12 minutes to reach his first semifinal at the US Open.
Dimitrov, sometimes referred to as “Baby Fed,” came into the match 0-7 against the Swiss, owner of 20 major trophies.
“It’s been a while since I played on that court, so in the first set I was a little nervous and I was just trying to find my rhythm around the court,” Dimitrov said in his on-court interview with ESPN. “He was serving really good, as he did throughout the whole match. The only thing I was telling myself was to stay in the match. I knew physically I was feeling really, really good.”
“My main goal was to stay on the court as long as possible. At the end for sure he was not 100 per cent. It’s best of five and anything can happen.”
Federer appeared to have some issues with his neck and back during the match.
“Well, I just needed some treatment on my upper – what is it – back, neck. Just needed to try to loosen it up, crack it and see if it was going to be better,” Federer said to media.
“Yeah, but this is Grigor’s moment and not my body’s moment, so… It’s okay.”
“I was able to play with it. My bad not to win.”
“I didn’t know to what extent his injury was or whatever was bothering him,” noted Dimitrov. “But I think even when I lost that game, I was actually smiling going through the changeover because I was, That game must have hurt him a lot. For me, it actually filled me up.
“I tried to use that negative sort of situation into my positive. After that fourth set, I felt also he kind of needed a little bit of a break, as well. I kept on pushing through.
“I think in the first game in the fifth, I put so many returns back, pretty much all the returns, so he had to go. He wanted to keep the points really short. I used every single opportunity I had.”
“Obviously I started seeing in the fifth. Even if I would have gone two sets to love down, I wouldn’t have give up. I would still stay on the court and just try to do as much as possible to make sure that whether I rattle him or put him off balance.
“I kept on pushing, I kept on believing. I was hitting I think very good shots, playing good tennis. That got me through the line.”
Dimtrov will take on No. 5 Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals for a place in the final.