During his early years on the ATP Tour, Grigor Dimitrov was nicknamed ‘Baby Fed’. This was mostly because his playing style was seen as similar to that of the Swiss legend Roger Federer.
Back in November 2017, the Bulgarian won the World Tour Finals in London. Since then, he has come of age and is now ranked at world No 4.
Currently, Dimitrov is preparing for the Madrid Open and he began his campaign on Tuesday in the second round against Canada’s Milos Raonic.
He had a good start to the European clay court season where he reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters. He also reached the last eight of the Barcelona Open, before being knocked out by Pablo Carreno Busta. Dimitrov heads into the Madrid Open tournament brimming with confidence.
The comparisons between Dimitrov and Federer have shown no signs of stopping. But the 26-year-old is eager to end it all.
“I am tired about this topic, I am tired of comparisons,” Dimitrov said.
“This is part of the past.”
However, Dimitrov admitted that Nadal inspired him to reach new levels. Now, he is relishing the challenge of facing him should they meet in Madrid.
He added: “I love practising against him, I love playing matches.
“I think it’s great to have a reference like that to improve yourself.
“It pushes you to do better. You have to give 100 per cent… and try to exploit his weaknesses.
“You can find them, but the problem is sustaining it during the match.”
Sadly, the 26-year old lost to the Canadian in 3 sets. Raonic won the opening set with a score of 7-5. Dimitrov claimed the second set with a score of 6-3. Finally, Raonic won the decider with a score of 6-3. He even defeated Argentine player Nicolas Kicker in straight sets. Now, Raonic will face Denis Shapovalov in the next round.