Preview: Djokovic, Dimitrov Set For Wimbledon Semi-Final Battle
Wimbledon, Great Britain
by ATP Staff|
A lot has changed since Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov last met at a Grand
Slam championship. Thirteen months ago, Djokovic won their
Roland Garros third round encounter 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
Dimitrov will contest his first major semi-final on Friday on the back of a nine-match winning streak on grass courts. "The fact that he hasn't lost a match in the grass court season this year says enough about his quality," said Djokovic.
The 23-year-old Bulgarian has risen from No. 23 in the Emirates ATP Rankings at the start of 2014 and will break into the Top 10 for the first time on Monday as a result of his performances at The Championships. On Wednesday, he beat defending champion Andy Murray in the Wimbledon quarter-finals. "I'm sure many people look at him as a potential Grand Slam winner," said Djokovic. "Maybe here [or] maybe in the Grand Slams to follow."
This year, Dimitrov has also won three ATP World Tour titles on three different surfaces on the hard courts at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel (d. Anderson), on the clay of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy (d. Rosol) and at the Aegon Championships grass (d. F. Lopez). "He has won tournaments on each surface this year. So it says enough about his quality on different surfaces [and] his ability to adjust to different surfaces. His game has improved a lot. He's getting more experience now playing on the big stage, which definitely is useful when you play in the big tournaments like this."
Djokovic is attempting to reach his third Wimbledon final and his 14th major title-match overall. The 2011 champion could reclaim No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings from Rafael Nadal only if he lifts the trophy on Sunday. He last held top spot on 6 October 2013.
Dimitrov is wary of the Serbian's capabilities. "We all know how Novak is competing and how he's playing when he's at his top level," he said. "I'm of course not expecting an easy match. I know it's going to be a battle. I've just got to be really, really composed.
"I think we're both going to really want that match. Of course, he has the experience and all that behind him. But at the same time, I've been playing great tennis. I believe in my skills at the moment."
The last time Djokovic lost to a player ranked outside the Top 10 at a Grand Slam championship was No. 13 Tomas Berdych in the 2010 Wimbledon semi-finals.
Dimitrov is looking to reach the final on his fifth Wimbledon appearance. Pat Cash, Jim Courier, Roger Federer, Goran Ivanisevic and Pete Sampras all reached their first Wimbledon final on their fifth appearance at the All England Club.
Djokovic has won 94 per cent of his service games during The Championships, compared to Dimitrov's 96 per cent. Here's a closer look at the two semi-finalists:
Statistcs courtesy: IBM
|68%||1st Serve %||65%|
|78%||1st Serve Points||80%|
|57%||2nd Serve Points||59%|
|18||Break Points Faced||22|
|94%||Service Games Held||96%|
|72%||Returns In Play||69%|
|31%||1st Return Points Won||29%|
|54%||2nd Return Points Won||55%|
|24||Breaks Of Serve||21|
|83||Return Games Played||80|
|29%||Return Games Won %||26%|
|44||Forehand Unforced Errors||42|
|48||Backhand Unforced Errors||38|
|105 of 139||Net Points Won||106 of 145|
|76%||Net Points Won Pct.||73%|
|50%||Baseline Points Won||51%|
|12:07||Time On Court||10:19|