Australian Open Semifinal Preview: Nadal vs. Dimitrov
The second semifinal match in the men’s singles tournament at the 2017 Australian Open will be held early tomorrow morning (EST) when Rafael Nadal takes on Grigor Dimitrov. The winner of the match will face Roger Federer in the finals on Sunday morning. While neither Nadal or Dimitrov were predicted to make such deep runs in the tournament, this should be a highly entertaining tennis match.
It is safe to say that most tennis fans will be rooting for Rafael Nadal in his semifinal match against Grigor Dimitrov. Nadal and Federer have one of the best rivalries in the history of professional tennis, and this may be a last chance for the two stars face off against each other in the finals of a Grand Slam tournament. Nadal has once again proved that he is one of the best tennis players in the world when fully healthy, but he certainly will not get an easy win tomorrow.
Rafael Nadal has won seven of his eight career matches against Grigor Dimitrov, but he lost to the Bulgarian in straight-sets in their last match at the China Open in November. It is smart to ignore Nadal’s dominance in this matchup because Dimitrov is playing the best tennis of his career right now. Dimitrov is one of the most talented players in the world, but he has failed to live up to the lofty expectations placed on him early in his career. If his dominance at the 2017 Australian Open is any indication, Grigor Dimitrov is about to have the best year of his career. Nadal is currently ranked as the 9th best player in the world with Dimitrov coming in at 15th.
While he is the higher seed, Rafael Nadal had a much tougher road to the semifinals than Grigor Dimitrov. Nadal easily defeated Gael Monfils and Milos Raonic in his last two matches despite both players being ranked in the top six in the world. The early exit of Novak Djokovic gave Dimitrov a much easier draw. David Goffin has been Dimitrov’s toughest opponent, but he was clearly worn out from a grueling tournament during their quarterfinal match.
Nadal and Dimitrov should create an extremely exciting semifinal match because of their contrasting styles. Dimitrov possess a deadly wide serve that has proven difficult for his opponents to return. Dimitrov also has a great cross court forehand. While this is normally enough to take down most players, Rafael Nadal has the speed and stamina to constantly return the wide shots. Nadal also posses one of the best backhands in tennis, so he should be able to win a few points with it when Dimitrov misses with his forehand.
While both players are in excellent form, it is hard to predict against Rafael Nadal when he is healthy. Nadal has easily taken down some of the best players in the world, and he is not going to let anything stop him from meeting Roger Federer in the finals. A win by Nadal would set up a rematch of the 2009 Australian Open finals, which is the only time the Spaniard has been able to win the prestigious tournament.