Grigor Dimitrov rallied for a shocking upset of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer at the US Open on Tuesday, the lowest-ranked New York semifinalist in 28 years advancing to face Daniil Medvedev.
The 78th-ranked Bulgarian, who had dropped all seven prior meetings with Federer, made a dramatic fightback to defeat the Swiss third seed 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 at Arthur Ashe Stadium and will face Russian fifth seed Medvedev in Friday’s semis.
“I’m just happy,” Dimitrov said. “The only thing I was telling myself was to stay in the match. Physically I was feeling pretty good. I was hitting some shots against him that were hard to hit.”
Dimitrov reached his first US Open semifinal to match the deepest Slam runs of his career from Wimbledon in 2014 and the 2017 Australian Open.
Federer went off the court for a private medical timeout to treat his upper back near his neck.
“This is Grigor’s moment, not my body’s moment,” Federer said.
Dimitrov broke Federer twice on the way to a 4-0 lead in the final set and the 38-year-old Swiss star had no effective reply, foiled by 61 unforced errors in falling after three hours and 12 minutes.
“It’s OK. It’s how it goes,” Federer said. “I tried my best. I fought with what I had and that’s it.”
MEDVEDEV ADVANCES TO SEMIS
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev shook off a leg injury to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open by defeating three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka.
Fifth seed Medvedev’s 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 triumph sent him into a Friday matchup against Bulgaria’s 78th-ranked Grigor Dimitrov.
“I feel really strange about this match but I’m really happy to be in my first semifinal,” Medvedev said.
Medvedev, at 23, becomes the youngest US Open semifinalist since Novak Djokovic in 2010 and Russia’s first Slam semifinalist since Mikhail Youzhny at the 2010 US Open.
RUTHLESS SERENA EARNS 100TH WIN
Serena Williams earned her 100th win at the US Open with a brutal 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Chinese 18th seed Wang Qiang in just 44 minutes to set up a semi-final clash with Elina Svitolina.
Six-time US Open champion Williams smacked 25 winners against Wang, who failed to hit a single one, in a complete mismatch that was the quickest at this year’s tournament.
“Wow, wow,” said Williams, who brought up a century of US Open wins to move to within one of the all-time record held by Chris Evert.
“It’s really unbelievable, literally. From when I first started here, I think I was 16, I didn’t think I would ever get to 100. I didn’t think I would still be out here.”
“Physically I’m feeling great. More than anything I’m just having fun every time I come out here.”
Serena Williams is now two wins shy of capturing her 24th career Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court’s all-time record.
Williams captured her last Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant and hasn’t won the US Open since 2014.