With just a few matches to go until he crosses the 1000 match-win mark, all eyes are on Roger Federer as he prepares to face Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-final round of the Brisbane International on Saturday. Federer would become just the third player in the Open Era to reach that remarkable figure but will have to defeat the Bulgarian nicknamed ‘Baby Fed’ before he can do so this week. Federer has never dropped a set against Dimitrov and leads the head-to-head series 2-0.
After being down a set and a break in his first professional match of the year, and against a player ranked outside the Top 150 in John Millman, Roger Federer rebounded with a thrashing of James Duckworth to finish the match 6-0, 6-1 in just 41 minutes of court time. The opening set lasted 16 minutes in total and saw Federer drop just six points in total.
Given his short time on court, Federer is satisfied that he gets to rest for his upcoming encounter against Dimitov.
“I’m very happy,” admitted Federer. “I saved energy and stress and nerves and everything, because yesterday was quite nerve wracking and physically difficult because it was first match of the season. You’re always going to be a bit tense in that match.”
After reaching the final at his debut at the event two years ago, Grigor Dimitrov is determined to return there again this season, but is required to overcome Federer in order to do so. The fourth seed defeated Martin Klizan 6-3, 6-4 in 72 minutes. He struck seven aces, won 76% of his first service points and converted 4 of 5 break point opportunities to close out the match.
Of their two previous encounters on the tour, Federer leads the series 2-0 and is yet to drop a set to Dimitrov. Both those meetings took place in the quarter-final stage of the Basel Indoor event in Switzerland and saw at least one tiebreaker each time. While the likelihood of a competitive match is high, few expect Federer to fall to the youngster on Saturday.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Straight Sets