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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

‘Beating Roger Federer at US Open is my favorite victory,’ Grigor Dimitrov recalls

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Grigor Dimitrov was the US Open semi-finalist three years ago, beating Roger Federer in a cracker and entering the last four. Asked about his most cherished triumph, Grigor mentioned his win over Roger in New York from two sets to one down.

It was Grigor’s first victory over Roger in eight encounters, prevailing 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in three hours and 12 minutes. Thus, world no. 78 became the lowest-ranked player in a Major semi-final since Rainer Schuettler at Wimbledon 2008 and at the US Open since Jimmy Connors in 1991.

Roger gave his best to continue where he left against Daniel Evans and David Goffin in the previous rounds. Still, it was not enough to beat the Bulgarian, forging the advantage but losing ground after that. The Swiss took a medical timeout after the fourth set and never stood a chance in the decider to propel Grigor through.

Dimitrov tamed his shots nicely and bounced back after losing sets one and three, defending ten out of 14 break points and earning five return games to advance into the next round. Federer sprayed too many errors thanks to a pale performance in the deciding set.

He wasted his opportunities to close the match before going to the distance and had to settle with the quarter-final. Roger was off to a flying start, taking 14 of the first 17 points to grab a 3-0 lead and keep it up throughout the set for 6-3.

Grigor bounced back in the second, moving 5-2 in front with a break in game six and looking good to level the overall score at 1-1.

Grigor Dimitrov’s favorite victory came against Roger Federer at the US Open 2019.

Federer broke back in game nine but could not use that momentum.

He suffered another break at 4-5 to hand the set to his rival in what would be the turning point of the entire clash. Despite this setback, Federer returned stronger in the third set, stealing Dimitrov’s serve in games seven and nine for 6-3 and moving closer to the finish line.

Ready to fight until the end, Grigor earned a break at the beginning of the fourth set and defended it nicely, repelling five break chances at 5-4 in another critical moment to take the set and force a decider. Struggling with an injury, Federer took a medical timeout that did not help him, earning one point on the return in the final set and suffering breaks in games one and three to hand the triumph to Dimitrov.

“I scored my desired victory against Roger Federer at the 2019 US Open. To beat him on such an occasion and how it happened meant more to me than against any other player. Of course, I appreciate so many other wins I have had, but that one meant more to me. I would say that match was the one that sticks out the most,” Grigor Dimitrov said.


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