Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 09:45
'Baby Fed' sets up date with Rafa
By Agence France-Presse in Melbourne

'Baby Fed' sets up date with Rafa

Grigor Dimitrov lunges for a forehand against Roberto Bautista Agut during their match at the Australian Open on Monday. (Bobby Yip / Reuters)

Grigor Dimitrov became the first Bulgarian man to qualify for a Grand Slam quarterfinal 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.

"We all know that he has won tons of Slams. He's been a tremendous competitor. He is Rafa. We all know him," Dimitrov said.

"But I just want to put myself in position to play those guys. I have had tough battles with him in the past. Played a couple times on clay. There were always little things missing.

"I'm quite happy with the way I'm performing so far. So I like my chances."

Meanwhile, his next opponent, Rafa, called for more understanding from umpires over time warnings as he fought off a spirited challenge from Japan's Kei.

The Spanish world No 1 won 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (3) in 3 hr, 17 min.

However, Nadal was angered when he was called for an unsettling second time violation in between points by chair umpire Eva Asderaki at deuce while 4-4 at a critical time in the third set, but he regathered his composure to go through on his second tiebreaker.