Federer in cruise control to conquer error-strewn Dimitrov

Roger Federer had few problems in overcoming a sloppy Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-2 6-4 to secure his place in the last eight of Wimbledon.

The Swiss, chasing a record eighth title at the All England Club, had not dropped a set en route to the fourth-round meeting on Centre Court, but he can hardly have had an easier encounter than this one-sided affair.

Federer held a 5-0 record over Dimitrov before this clash – the pair’s first on grass – and the Bulgarian may be in no great hurry to face the world number five again after this dismal showing.

The 13th seed made 25 unforced errors and committed seven double faults as Federer was barely required to break sweat in wrapping up victory in just over an hour and a half.

Often described as ‘Baby Fed’ for the way his style of play echoes that of the 18-time major winner, Dimitrov was given a harsh lesson by the real deal on Monday as Federer advanced to his 50th grand slam quarter-final.

Dimitrov was forced to rescue a break point in the opening game but that was a rare moment of weakness either man showed on serve until game nine.

Both players emitted cries of self-encouragement, Federer for carving out two more break opportunities while Dimitrov was equally pumped to save them both.

It was Federer who prevailed, though, as a pair of errant Dimitrov forehands handed him the breakthrough and the set was sealed with a thumping ace down the middle for a hold to love.

Dimitrov followed a double fault with a wayward forehand to gift Federer a break for 3-2 in the second, and that same costly combination did additional damage in his next service game as the third seed pulled further clear.

The Bulgarian saved two set points but there was no stopping the Swiss a third time as a strong serve down the middle meant Dimitrov could only return into the net.

Basic mistakes continued to come from Dimitrov’s side of the court, two more errors on the backhand side presenting his opponent with a break and a 3-2 lead in the third.

Finally, at 4-3 down, Dimitrov offered a glimpse of his undoubted talent with a scarcely believable forehand winner on the run to force two break points. Federer saved both but Dimitrov was unbowed and got himself back on terms as his forehand finally came to the party.

It proved a brief respite, however, Dimitrov going long to hand Federer the chance to serve out the match, and it was one the seven-time champion was never going to pass up.


Federer [3] bt Dimitrov [13] 6-4 6-2 6-4

Federer – 24/11
Dimitrov – 29/25

Federer – 8/0
Dimitrov – 7/7

Federer – 5/10
Dimitrov – 1/3

Federer – 69
Dimitrov – 63

Federer – 75/74
Dimitrov – 65/44

Federer – 95
Dimitrov – 71

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