Dimitrov targets Centre Court king Murray

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London - Grigor Dimitrov is relishing the chance to down Andy Murray in his own backyard when the young pretender takes on the British reigning champion in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Wednesday.

The Bulgarian said he was in it to win it against the third seed and would be bringing his “big game” for what will be his last eight debut at the All England Club.

Dimitrov, 23, said it was exactly the sort of lion's den he wanted to hurl himself into - and is even visualising taking Murray down in straight sets.

“I'm happy that I'm in the quarter-final. Just going to give credit to myself for that. But my job isn't over yet,” the 11th seed said.

“Every tournament I enter is to win the whole event. That's the whole point of competing,” he explained.

“Of course, it's not an easy task. It's a lot to ask. I'm expecting to raise up my level in the next match. It's not a new opponent for me. I know him. There's nothing major for me that I need to be aware of.”

The match is almost certainly going to be staged on Centre Court, where Murray not only ended Britain's 77-year wait for a Wimbledon men's singles champion last year but also won gold at the London 2012 Olympics.

However, Dimitrov said he was not going to feel intimidated on Murray's stomping ground.

“It's his home basically here. He's been playing a lot of matches on Centre Court. He knows his way around the grass pretty good,” the Queen's warm-up tournament winner said.

“You want to put yourself to play on that kind of stage. I'm not going to lie. It's an unbelievable court to play on.

“I'm just going to play my game. I'm not going to step back. I just want to come out with my big game and play my aggressive tennis.

“I don't want to adjust to my opponent. I'm focusing on my game and what I can bring to the court. The rest is going to come.”

And the man once dubbed “Baby Fed” in reference to 17-times Grand Slam winner Roger Federer is not short on confidence.

“Of course, the best-case scenario is straight sets,” he said.

“I'm not playing against a mediocre player, so I just need to be on my best behaviour.”

Much has been made of the so-called next generation of players creeping up the rankings, including Dimitrov.

But Murray said they would have their work cut out if they wanted to replicate the monopoly he has shared at the top of the sport with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“What many people have enjoyed over the last however many years is seeing the best players playing each other in the biggest matches in the major events,” the Scot said.

“Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios and those guys, in a few years, we'll be seeing them playing against each other in the latter stages of these events.”

The 27-year-old said there was no easy path to glory.

“It's such a tough sport now. It's physically very demanding, especially in the slams and the big events,” the world number five said.

“My only advice to any young player coming through is to work hard and try to get the most out of your game, because if not, you're going to look back with some regrets.”

While Dimitrov thinks he has gone beyond the “Baby Fed” tag, Murray thinks he should never have had it in the first place.

“Everyone was comparing him to Federer. That's impossible to live up to what Roger's achieved. Maybe no one again will ever win that many slams.

“But now he's starting to come into his prime. He's won a lot of matches this year. He's a tough player. It will be a hard match for me.”

Sapa-AFP


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