A 15th Wimbledon Quarter Final for Roger Federer is in the bag as he dominated his fourth round encounter against Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 to set the record for Open Era Wimbledon quarter-final appearances.
As well as it being his 15th at Wimbledon, it's also his 50th Grand Slam quarter-final overall, another Open Era record! He is breaking one every time he steps on the court these days it seems 🙂
The win also means Federer is now 6-0 against Dimitrov in the H2H and he's lost just two sets in total to his much touted successor.
Quick Match Recap
Dimitrov won the toss and elected to serve. The Bulgarian started nicely moving to 40-15, but a double fault at deuce gave Roger an early look at a break. Dimitrov saved it though and held for 1-0.
Roger then consolidated to fifteen, and both players began to tick over on serve. At 4-4 30-30 we got the first chum jetzt of the match as Fed set up a break point, Dimitrov saved it with an ace, but some costly errors handed Roger the break for 5-4. The Swiss served it out to love, hitting an ace on set point.
Into set two and Dimitrov kicked off with a love hold to halt Federer's momentum. Roger, however, fired down a love hold of his own and at 2-2 got the break after another Dimitrov double fault. Another double fault in game seven gave the Swiss break point for 5-2 which he converted and went on to serve out the set 6-2.
Like the second set, a love hold gave Dimitrov the lead at the start of the third, but he was again broken in game 5, throwing in a double fault and struggling to cope with how early Federer was taking the ball. The Swiss then held to make 4-2, but in game 8 Dimitrov played his best return game of the match, hitting a stunning running forehand en route to levelling at four all.
Could the break give Dimitrov a way back into the match? It looked possible when he started game nine with an ace, but he lost the next three points, and Roger converted his second break point to lead 5-4 before serving it out comfortably to make his fifteenth quarter-final.
|Match Statistics||G. Dimitrov||R. Federer|
|First Serve % In||57/91 (63%)||52/75 (69%)|
|Win % On 1st Serve||37/57 (65%)||39/52 (75%)|
|Win % On 2nd Serve||15/34 (44%)||17/23 (74%)|
|Net Points Won||9/12 (75%)||15/22 (68%)|
|Break Points Won||1/3 (33%)||5/10 (50%)|
|Receiving Points Won||19/75 (25%)||39/91 (43%)|
|Total Points Won||71||95|
|Distance Covered (Ft)||4091.9||4331.3|
|Distance Covered/pt. (Ft)||24.6||26.1|
Thoughts on the Match
A super solid display here from Roger who played his best match of the fortnight so far to come through in straight sets. It's a bit of a cliche, but it really was Master vs. Apprentice out there despite Dimitrov being in the prime of his career.
Roger serves better and smarter, and he moves an order of magnitude better than Grigor on this surface. The Swiss is more precise with his footwork and the way he balances consistency with aggression makes him a much tougher player.
Dimitrov certainly has the tools and can play unreal shots, (check out the forehand he hit en route to breaking back which might be shot of the tournament) but when it comes down Tennis IQ, he's not at Fed's level, and that's why he's not making the impact at Grand Slams.
Any negatives? Not really. I guess in some ways it was too routine. Seven double faults and some wild groundstrokes gifted Roger plenty points. But you felt like he had plenty more to give had it been required and breaking back immediately in the third is a good sign. So as far as fourth rounds go, I think it was a peRFect display, little energy expended and now he can head into the quarter-final where he will need plenty spring in the legs to keep holding his own serve and in the return games against his big-serving opponent.
Predictions vs. Raonic
Next up is Milos Raonic who saw off Sascha Zverev in five sets after falling two sets to one behind in their 3 hours and 23-minute encounter.
If I had to pick the preferred opponent, I'd have probably gone with Milos based on his form this year. So I'm happy with the result. His serve is the big weapon of course, but you feel like if Federer can almost take him out on one leg like last year, then this year he's in with an excellent shot of moving into the Semi Finals.
The fact Raonic was out there for over 3 hours today certainly helps Roger too, and the Canadian has played some tough matches to make the quarters against Youzhny and Ramos-Vinolas, so it all helps.
Based on that above I make Roger the favourite to come through in 3 or 4 sets. If Raonic has an unbelievable serving day, he'll be a tough nut to crack, but I like Fed's chances. See you Wednesday!