Grigor Dimitrov defeated Rafael Nadal for the first time in his career after 7 previous losses from their first clash in Rotterdam in 2009 until the second round of Swiss Indoor in Basel last year. The first set started with 5 consecutive breaks and Dimitrov reached a 4-2 lead after winning his next service game.
Then with a new break to 5-2 and taking the next service game Grigor won the first set 6-2. Dimitrov succeeded to break the first game of the second set and saved all break-points in the next games, he eventually closed the set 6-4 and won the match.
“I'm pretty happy with that win. I'm not going to lie. I've played Rafa quite a few times. So many times I was close or a couple times I was cramping. There was just always something happening,” said Dimitrov. "Today, I just played an excellent match. Simple as that. There's not much else to say except that I'm proud. A lot of the work is paying off.”
This was the third win of Grigor Dimitrov over Top 10 player this year after beating Andy Murray at Miami Open and Stan Wawrinka at Cincinnati Masters.
“If I want to get to the top, meaning not just to enter the Top 10 (of the Emirates ATP Rankings), but to aim even higher and possibly be No. 1, that means that I need to play against these players pretty much every single week and beat them on a regular basis,” said Dimitrov. “I just want to stay on track and focus on whatever is in front of me.”
In the semifinals on Saturday Grigor Dimitrov will face No 6 Milos Raonic of Canada. Dimitrov have not played Raonic since 2014 at Australian Open. The Bulgarian leads 2-1 in matches on ATP World Tour level.