Tennis: Roger Federer beaten in US Open quarter-finals by Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov (pictured) will meet No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev on Friday (Sept 6) for a spot in the final.
Grigor Dimitrov (pictured) will meet No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev on Friday (Sept 6) for a spot in the final.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP/AP)- Grigor Dimitrov rallied for a shocking upset of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer at the US Open on Tuesday (Sept 3), the lowest-ranked New York semi-finalist 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 semi-finals.

"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."

He reached his first US Open semi-final to match the deepest Slam runs of his career from Wimbledon in 2014 and the 2017 Australian Open. Not since 174th-ranked Jimmy Connors reached the 1991 quarter-finals had New York seen so lowly a figure on the ATP ratings list reach the last four. Dimitrov is also the lowest-ranked Slam semi-finalist since 94th-rated Rainer Schuettler of Germany at Wimbledon in 2008.

Federer was denied on five break points in the 10th game of the fourth set and Dimitrov held to force a fifth set.

"I was trying to stay in that game and make him stay on the court as much as possible. After that he started slowing down a little bit," Dimitrov said. "It's a best of five sets. Anything can happen."

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 3hr 12min.

"It's OK. It's how it goes," Federer said. "I tried my best. I fought with what I had and that's it."

Federer, a five-time US Open champion who has not lifted the Flushing Meadows title since 2008, would have become the oldest Slam semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors at age 39 at the 1991 US Open.

Medvedev is now into his first Grand Slam semi-final after a 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over Swiss Stan Wawrinka.