Australian Open

I can go the distance - Dimitrov

2017-01-25 18:11
Grigor Dimitrov (AFP)

Melbourne - Grigor Dimitrov says he has what it takes to upset the odds and go the distance at the Australian Open after storming past David Goffin and into the semi-finals on Wednesday.

The 15th-seeded Bulgarian had few problems in a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over the Belgian 11th seed in two hours, 13 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Next up is either third seed Milos Raonic or 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in Friday's semi-final, but Dimitrov believes he's ready to land his first major title.

"I feel like I have all the tools to go further and my job isn't over yet," he said. "I'm looking forward to my match. I think I'm prepared.

"I think I'm ready to go the distance. I don't shy away from that. I'm confident enough to say that as I feel good physically, and overall on the court."

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 world number five 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 Wimbledon.

"I'm just going forward with the confidence that I have built up also from the previous tournament," he said.

"Now with each match I've been feeling better and better. It just all comes pretty natural right now."

Dimitrov, now working with Andy Murray's former coach Daniel Vallverdu, said mentally he was a better player.

"I think I'm taking better decisions when I come out on the court, better decisions in terms of points or how I'm going to play certain players or how I'm going to prepare before my matches," he said.

"My focus has been good. The mentality has been there. I keep on fighting. I have a good spirit on the court, being positive."

It was Dimitrov's second career Grand Slam semi-final after his last-four appearance at Wimbledon three years ago.

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 Goffin under immediate pressure, breaking his opening service, but he was broken 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.

He served out for the match and won on his third match point with a ripping backhand winner.

Read more on:    australian open  |  grigor dimitrov  |  tennis
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