Roger Federer needed three sets to overcome Grigor Dimitrov in Friday night’s quarterfinal match, much different than their meeting a year ago in the Brisbane International semifinals. The Swiss maestro served at a very high level, 87% for the match, facing and saving the only break point he faced. The 24-year-old Bulgarian, who saw his ranking slip in 2015 after a progressive 2014, was sharp throughout. Dimitrov saved eight of eleven break points faced himself, and although he couldn’t make ways in Federer’s service games, he executed impressively to win the second set in a tiebreaker.
The 34-year-old Swiss navigated his way to the necessary break in the final set, keeping comfortable margin at 5-3 to hold on for the victory, 6-4 6-7 (4) 6-4, in 2 hours 7 minutes. He will face another youngster and another one-hander in Saturday’s semifinals – Dominic Thiem, the rising Austrian who has recently broken into the top 20 in the world. It will be their first meeting on tour.