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Nadal survives Dimitrov test to reach semi-finals

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal was forced to battle back from a set down before he blunted the challenge of Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov with a 3-6 7-6 7-6 6-2 victory to advance to his fourth Australian Open semi-final on Wednesday. The 22-year-old Dimitrov showcased the power, court coverage and booming serve that tennis pundits have suggested could take him to the top of the game as he tested Nadal, though, he was unable to capitalize at crucial moments of the match.

Tennis: Tearful Dimitrov 'shattered' by Nadal near-miss

Tearful Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov said he was "shattered" Wednesday after narrowly losing to Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, but vowed to bounce back stronger. Dubbed "Baby Fed" for a playing style uncannily similar to Swiss great Roger Federer, the lanky 22-year-old had a high-profile chance to show he is more than just Maria Sharapova's boyfriend. And he did just that, pushing the world number one to four tough sets in the quarter-finals to highlight what an exciting prospect he is.

Tennis: Nadal fights off Dimitrov to reach Open semi

World number one Rafael Nadal fought off a big challenge from rising Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Wednesday. Nadal got home 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 in three hours 37 minutes and now will play either Andy Murray or Roger Federer for a place in Sunday's final. For long passages of the quarter-final on Rod Laver Arena, Nadal was struggling to put away the 22nd-seeded Dimitrov, and he needed a bit of luck at crucial stages to go through.

Tennis: Nadal v Dimitrov quarter-final match stats

Match statistics from the Australian Open quarter-final between Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday (x denotes seeding): Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) v Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x22) Time: 3hr 37min Nadal - Dimitrov 3 Aces 16 7 Double Faults 5 42 Winners 54 47 Unforced Errors 61 4/11 Break Point Conversions 3/6 147 Total Points Won 132 afp

Tennis: Nadal v Dimitrov quarter-final match stats

Match statistics from the Australian Open quarter-final between Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday (x denotes seeding): Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) v Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x22) Time: 3hr 37min Nadal - Dimitrov 3 Aces 16 7 Double Faults 5 42 Winners 54 47 Unforced Errors 61 4/11 Break Point Conversions 3/6 147 Total Points Won 132 afp

Tennis: 'Baby Fed' Dimitrov into first Slam quarters

Grigor Dimitrov became the first Bulgarian man to qualify for a Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open on Monday and said he fancied his chances against next opponent Rafael Nadal. The 22nd seed, nicknamed "Baby Fed" because his game resembles Roger Federer's, ousted unseeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours 24 minutes on Margaret Court Arena. The 22-year-old, who is dating Maria Sharapova, will face 13-time Grand Slam champion Nadal in the last eight on Wednesday.

Tennis: 'Baby Fed' Dimitrov into first Slam quarters

Grigor Dimitrov became the first Bulgarian man to qualify for a Grand Slam quarter-final with victory at the Australian Open on Monday. The 22nd seed, nicknamed "Baby Fed" because his game resembles Roger Federer's, ousted unseeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours 24 minutes on Margaret Court Arena. Dimitrov will face either 13-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal or Japanese 16th seed Kei Nishikori in the quarters on Wednesday.

Success starved Bulgaria hails Dimitrov's maiden win

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria, a nation with a proud female tennis tradition, hailed Grigor Dimitrov's maiden ATP tour title and praised the player for becoming an inspiration for young talent in the Balkan country. The three Maleeva sisters - Manuela, Katerina and Magdalena, who took turns to feature in the world's top six in the 1980s and 1990s - made the women's game successful in Bulgaria.

Tennis: Angry Dimitrov in protest as Sharapova looks on

Grigor Dimitrov staged a temporary sit-down protest to register his anger at court conditions on Friday before he lost a five-set Wimbledon thriller. The Bulgarian 29th seed, watched by superstar girlfriend Maria Sharapova, who was knocked out on Wednesday, went out 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 to Slovenia's Grega Zemlja in a second round match suspended due to rain on Thursday.

Dimitrov follows girlfriend Sharapova out of Wimbledon

By Martyn Herman LONDON (Reuters) - Grigor Dimitrov ended up on the second round scrapheap along with girlfriend Maria Sharapova after losing a rain-interrupted five-setter against Grega Zemlja at Wimbledon on Friday. The Bulgarian 29th seed joined the long list of big names to fall as Slovenian Zemlja held his nerve to claim a 3-6 7-6 3-6 6-4 11-9 victory on Court Three. Dimitrov, who twice led by a set, had trailed 8-9 in the decider when play was stopped by rain on Thursday.
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