On Friday, the tennis world will finally see a match that has been anticipated for a long time - Roger Federer vs Grigor Dimitrov.
The Bulgarian rising star has basically modeled his game around Federer, and a match between the Swiss Maestro and the one that is called "BabyFed" will finally take place in the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open in Basel.
Dimitrov has been on a roll lately, as he won his first career title last week in Stockholm, beating David Ferrer in the final. The 22 year-old could finally be living up to his potential and it should be a fun encounter between two very talented shotmakers. With one on the rise and one on the decline, you know the young Dimitrov will want to get that win over the legend who inspired his game.
Federer's first two matches weren't great, beating Adrian Mannarino in straight sets and taking out Denis Istomin in three. In both those matches he showed hiccups that have plagued him all year, getting broken at inopportune times and losing sets because of it. The good news is that he played two very good sets against Istomin and after saving multiple some break points early in the 3rd set, he went on to play some scintillating tennis.
There is no doubt that Federer's confidence has been low - we have known that for months now. The only way to get confidence back is to win. Gaining good form is a process and doesn't just happen in one match out of the blue, and carrying momentum from one match to another helps to keep the positivity flowing. This year, that hasn't happened. Roger's longest winning streak has been 5 matches and he has played in only five semifinals all season. Every time he gets some momentum going, it gets stopped with an unfortunate or uncharacteristic loss.
He has admitted that he made some mistakes with his scheduling, like choosing to play on in Indian Wells instead of withdrawing, and playing Hamburg and Gstaad after his heartbreaking Wimbledon defeat to Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Knowing Federer, he will be very motivated to win this match as he always enjoys playing the young guys (see all his matches with Raonic and Tomic). Dimitrov is playing well now, but if Roger plays the way we know he can, he should win. He has to guard against those lapses in concentration where he plays a bad service game, because on the flip side, Dimitrov will be extremely motivated to win (though everyone wants to get a win over Roger to tell their grandkids).
Hope for a great match, and this...
This is my tennis blog, Lefty Advantage. Tennis is my biggest passion in life and I started this site to discuss the great game. I mainly follow the career of Roger Federer, but I truly love watching all tennis, whether it be the final of a Grand Slam or a junior tournament on the other side of the world.
I have played tennis for 13 years. If you ever met me, I could talk your head off about all things tennis for hours on end if you would let me. Welcome, and enjoy the writing!