“Very Happy That This Nickname Died”: Grigor Dimitrov Rejects Roger Federer Comparisons

Published 12/14/2021, 6:30 AM EST
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 03: Roger Federer (L) of Switzerland and Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria pose for a photo prior to their Men’s Singles quarterfinal match on day nine of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 03, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)


Grigor Dimitrov has been one of the most popular names in the tennis world. Even as a junior, his comparisons to Roger Federer ensured that stadiums remained packed wherever he played.

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Since his style of play was so similar to the Swiss Maestro, the 8-time ATP title winner was called ‘Baby Fed’. However, in the recent past, the Bulgarian made it clear that he is no longer fond of the nickname.

Dimitrov believes he is very different from Roger Federer

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September 3, 2019 – Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov shake hands after their quarterfinal match at the 2019 US Open. (Photo by Darren Carroll/USTA)

In an interview with French player Alize Lim for Tennis Majors, Dimitrov talks about comparisons with Roger. According to him, the nickname ‘Baby Fed’ used to flatter him, but no longer. Not only did he begin to dislike the nickname, but he also ‘resented’ the people who used it.

Dimitrov insisted on asserting his individuality- “I’d proved myself to be a completely different player than he (Federer) is.”

When asked about the differences between himself and Roger Federer, the Bulgarian had a lot to share.“I think, first, decision-making,” he began. At times, he is way more aggressive than I am,” Dimitrov describes Roger Federer’s style of play.

Talking more about their different styles of play, he said. “I use different shots than him.” Additionally, he talks about how he feels he and Roger Federer are ‘polar’ opposites in their characters.

“He used to be a rebel from what I heard, when he was at a younger age.  But for me, I think I’ve kept that for me still (in my personality),” he laughs.

 

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Dimitrov considers Federer a great role model

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 18: Roger Federer of Team Europe with team mate Grigor Dimitrov during his practice session prior to the Laver Cup at the United Center on September 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.The Laver Cup consists of six European players competing against their counterparts from the rest of the World. Europe will be captained by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will captain the Rest of the World team. The event runs from 21-23 Sept. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for The Laver Cup)

Even Roger Federer expressed his wish for Dimitrov to no longer be called ‘Baby Fed’. When the two first met in 2013, Federer had told Swiss reporters, “I hope people don’t call him Baby Fed so often anymore.”

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Dimitrov gives credit where due, though. “All in all, I think he is a great role model,” However, individuality is important, too, for him. “We’re only one of a kind on earth.”

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Samarveer Singh

257 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. A collegiate athlete himself, he admires all sportspersons who put in the work in order to achieve excellence.

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