AEGON CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
Emotional Dimitrov Reaches First Semi-final
by ATP Staff|
World No. 72 Grigor Dimitrov cried on court Friday after reaching his first ATP World Tour semi-final at the AEGON Championships. The 21-year-old Bulgarian, a former Wimbledon junior champion, upended ninth-seeded South African Kevin Anderson 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the quarter-finals at The Queen’s Club.
Dimitrov, who had not dropped a set in his first three matches, withstood 15 aces from Anderson in the match that was twice delayed by rain in the second set. He broke serve three times from nine opportunities to prevail in just over two hours.
"I was basically kind of stuck after the first set, but thank God it rained so I had time to go back in the locker and had time to review the first set and see what I did good and see what I did bad," said Dimitrov. "After I think I was just more focused and more steady than him. It was ups and downs, but what's important is the end result. I got a couple of tears. It was a good moment. I always wanted to share this with the people that I love."
Dimitrov will look to continue his best tour-level run when he plays 10th seed David Nalbandian on Saturday. The Argentine played six sets to move through to the last four. After rounding out Thursday's delayed third-round action by overcoming France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and 15 minutes, Nalbandian needed two hours to battle past Xavier Malisse 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4.
Nalbandian is aiming to reach his first final of the season. The last time he appeared in a grass-court title match was nearly 10 years ago, when he lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the 2002 Wimbledon final.
Sixth-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic secured his place in the semi-finals after defeating Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu. Cilic was leading 6-4, 2-0 when the No. 57-ranked Lu was forced to retire with a leg injury. Earlier in the day, Lu had added Janko Tipsarevic’s name to the list of seeded casualties as he defeated the third-seeded Serbian 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(5) in a rain-delayed third-round clash carried over from Thursday.
The 23-year-old Cilic was a finalist in Munich earlier in the season and improved to a 13-9 match record. He had fallen at the quarter-final stage at Queen’s twice before, losing to Andy Roddick in 2007 and Andy Murray last year. Cilic will next play 2010 champion Sam Querrey.
The American completed the semi-final lineup when he topped Ivan Dodig 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. Querrey won 84 per cent of his first serve points and held on to an early break lead in the third set to defeat Dodig for the second time on grass.
Querrey will contest his first semi-final since 2010, when he went on to repeat as champion in Los Angeles. He lost to Cilic in their only previous encounter, falling in five sets in the second round of Wimbledon in 2009.