Melbourne - Bulgarian
Grigor Dimitrov reached his first Australian Open semi-final with a
straight-sets win over Belgian David Goffin on Wednesday.
The 15th-seeded Dimitrov won 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours, 13 minutes
on Rod Laver Arena and will face either third seed Milos Raonic or
14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in Friday's semi-final.
It was Dimitrov's second career Grand Slam semi-final after his last-four appearance at Wimbledon three years ago.
The win also equalled Dimitrov's career-best winning streak of 10
matches after his lead-up tournament win in the Brisbane International,
where he beat Kei Nishikori in the final.
The last time the Bulgarian won 10 straight matches was back in 2014,
when he took the title at Queen’s and reached the last four at
"I knew it was not going to be easy. The first set was nerve-racking,
absolutely," he said. "I felt I could play well but I was not striking
the ball as well as I could.
"I think I was a bit passive but with each game and with each point I
was feeling a bit better and I was finding my groove. So I'm happy
With his victory Dimitrov is projected to rise to 12 in next week's
rankings unless Roger Federer wins the title in Melbourne. If Dimitrov
goes on to win his first Grand Slam title, he will rise to career-high
ranking of six.
Dimitrov put the Belgian under immediate pressure, breaking his opening service, but Goffin broke back in the fifth game.
The Bulgarian edged back in front after breaking again on his fourth break point following a 22-shot rally.
Dimitrov fought off a break point as he served out for the set with
another 22-shot rally, before Goffin's forehand was wide to hand him the
opening set in 42 minutes.
Both serves came under pressure in the second set but Dimitrov was
making more use of his opportunities and broke three times and dropped
one service game to take a two-sets lead.
Dimitrov grabbed the decisive service break in the seventh game of the final set when Goffin's backhand was long on break point.
It was the Bulgarian's sixth service break from 15 break point
opportunities, while the Belgian could only convert two of his 10
Dimitrov served out for the match and won on his third match point with a ripping backhand winner.
Goffin was bidding to become the first Belgian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since Xavier Malisse at Wimbledon in 2002.