Roger Federer has advanced to the quarter-final of Wimbledon after easing to a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Grigor Dimitrov.
Federer was in superb form, looking very sharp and alert, as he defeated the 13th seeded Bulgarian, nicknamed “Baby Fed” because of his one-handed backhand that resembles Federer’s.
Dimitrov, going into the match, was yet to drop a set at SW19, after three matches. However, he met an inspired Federer, who remained untouchable throughout their encounter at Centre Court.
With the first set level at 4-4, it was the Swiss who finally found a breakthrough, broke Dimitrov to lead 5-4, before holding serve to take the first set.
In the second, two double faults by Dimitrov allowed Federer back into the game, as he leveled up at 2-2.
Federer would break Dimitrov again in the fifth game, holding his serve to lead 4-2.
Dimitrov continued to disappoint, as Federer broke him again, then held his serve to take a two set to love lead, with just sixty one minutes played.
The third set started with both players matching each other’s strengths, holding their service games, as the set was evenly poised at 2-2.
However, Federer broke Dimitrov, who netted a backhand to hand Federer the initiative.
At 4-4, the legendary 35-year-old broke again in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, and closed out for the victory with a volley.
“I’m disappointed in myself that I couldn’t play better,” Dimitrov said after the match.
“I did a lot of unforced errors, and my first serve was not on point. Without those weapons, it’s never easy to play against him,” he added.
“I can look at this quarter-final in a totally relaxed fashion,” Federer said.
“Physically, I’m not fighting anything like last year with my knee. I’m ready to go this afternoon if I have to, which is great, but I don’t have to. I think that’s a great bonus.
“Then again, the best players are left in the draw. It’s going to be a tough one. I’m aware of that. That’s why I can’t think too far ahead. I think it’s going to be a tough finish to this tournament,” he added.
The victory sees Federer move into his 15th Wimbledon quarter-final, and now stands alone atop the open era list for most last eight appearances at SW19.
Up next for Federer is Milos Raonic, who needed three hours and 23 minutes to see off the challenge from Germany’s Alexander Zverev, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, for a place in the last four.
Raonic, a finalist at SW19 in 2006, is expected to offer a sterner test to Federer, whom he beat in last year’s semifinal.