Roger Federer missed chances of taking another Grand Slam title despite Novak Djokovic out of the US Open as he shockingly lost to world number 78 Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-final, Concise News reports.
Dimitrov caused a major upset when he came back to beat the world No 3, 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in three hours and 12 minutes at Flushing Meadows.
Federer suddenly looked his age as he succumbed to the Bulgarian so nicknamed because his flair and style are similar to the great Swiss.
The 38-year-old, only just recovering from the crushing disappointment of the Wimbledon final, now has to swallow another huge setback.
He appeared to be suffering towards the end from stiffness in his upper back but did not want that to detract from the startling result. Even Federer can hold off Father Time for so long.
Dimitrov, who now faces Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, was in such poor form coming in here that he had lost six of his last seven matches stretching back to Wimbledon and had slumped to 78 in the world.
He showcased the talent that at one stage had him viewed as a certain future major winner rather than one of the so-called lost generation of late twenty-somethings.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been on this court so I was nervous in the first set and he served really well,’ said Dimitrov.
“I think after the second set I felt I was getting a good stride on my shots.
“We had a really long game in the fourth set and I wanted to make him stay on court for long as possible.
‘”For sure he was not at his best at the end. It’s the best of five and anything can happen.’
Speaking after the match, Federer said: “I just feel low, Just disappointed it’s over because I did feel like I was actually playing really well after a couple of rocky starts.
“It’s just a missed opportunity to some extent that you’re in the lead, you can get through, you have two days off after. It was looking good,” he said.
New US Open champion?
With Djokovic and Federer out of the competition, Rafael Nadal remains the last line of defence for the old guard.
If the Spaniard does not win then there will be a first new US Open champion for the first time since 2014 when Marin Cilic took the title.
Federer has not emerged victorious in New York since taking the title in 2008 when he beat Andy Murray in the final.
Dimitrov was in such disarray coming in that his consultant coaches Radek Stepanek and Andre Agassi are not here, wishing to leave him to figure things out for himself.
Now he will have to overcome the hugely efficient baseliner Medvedev in Friday’s semi-finals.