The day of 'Baby' Federer at the US Open
NEW YORK: Grigor Dimitrov , prodigal of tennis, delivered the surprising result of the United States Open in a night game at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 28-year-old, greatly gifted, was nicknamed Baby Fed in his youth. On Tuesday night, he served as a reminder of his talent in bringing the man, the great winner of 38 years and 20 times, with a tennis that reflected the genius of Roger Federer.
The Bulgarian won 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in 3 hours and 12 minutes to reach his second important semifinal.
“I was nervous to start, it's been a while since I played on that court. I felt really good, I was able to make shots hard to hit against him, said Dimitrov, who has had to fight injury problems, adding that he noticed that Federer was fighting since the second set.
Dimitrov was focused on his game, refusing to look through the net. “I was more present. I was more of myself at every point, every game I played. It has always been very difficult to play against him. He always came out quite hot, made an early break, he said. Actually, the same thing happened today. After the second set, I felt that I was receiving a good blow, I wanted him to remain on the court as long as possible. I kept pushing, I kept believing and finally I was able to overcome the finish line.
Dimitrov, ranked as high as No.3 two years ago, came into the last major of the year with a ranking of No.78. In seven previous meetings with the Swiss he had won just two sets. In the quarterfinals of the United States Open the Bulgarian showed no timidity, not even when the third seed took the opening set of the roller-coaster that was to follow.
Daniil Medvedev has had his share of exchanges with the New York crowd. They made fun of him, he trolled them. After his 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over former champion Stan Wawrinka, the 23-year-old told the crowd: I try to be myself, boys . both a statement and a resolution. The fault lies with that colorful Russian Marat Safin. The prince of tennis pop.
Medvedev was nine years old, he was sitting in his family's living room in Moscow, glued to television, when Safin faced the hope of his home, Lleyton Hewitt, in the final of the 2005 Australian Open.
All Russia was cheering him up, sending him good energy because he was playing an Australian in Australia, Medvedev said. “Many people who looked at Marat when we were young began to throw rackets. You're looking at it and you think it's great. You think, I'm going to be like Marat, I'm going to break my racket right now. I grew up in his tennis.
Medvedev had so much kinesiology tape on him – shoulders, back, hand and quadriceps – that he arrived on court looking like a badly packaged gift. Medvedev pushed his tour-leading total to 49-victories this year. He reached the final in three consecutive tournaments on hard courts, leading up to the United States Open , winning the final one and underlining his position as challenger.
In the last four clashes on Friday, Medvedev will face Dimitrov.