Facing each other for the eighth time, Grigor Dimitrov toppled Roger Federer for the first time to reach the US Open semi-final, prevailing 3-6 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in three hours and 12 minutes. Thus, world no. 78 has become the lowest-ranked player in the Grand Slam semi-final since Rainer Schuettler at Wimbledon 2008 and at the US Open since Jimmy Connors in 1991, advancing into the last four for the first time since Monte Carlo 2018!
Roger gave his best to continue where he left against Daniel Evans and David Goffin but it wasn't enough to beat the Bulgarian, taking sets one and three but losing those in between to find himself away from the semi-final, failing to win the US Open crown for the 11th straight years after five in a row between 2004-08.
The Swiss had to take the medical timeout after the fourth set and never stood a chance in the decider to propel Grigor through, with the Bulgarian facing the young Russian Daniil Medvedev in the battle for the final. Dimitrov tamed his shots nicely and bounced back after losing sets one and three, keeping faith in his game and never losing focus, defending ten out of 14 break points and earning five breaks on the other hand to advance into the next round.
Federer sprayed too many errors in the end thanks to that deciding set, wasting his opportunities to close the match before going to the distance and having to settle with the quarter-final run. Roger was off to a flying start, taking 14 of the first 17 points to grab a 3-0 lead and keep it up throughout the set for a 6-3 before Grigor bounced back in the second, moving 5-2 in front with a break in game six and looking good to level the overall score at 1-1.
Federer broke back in game nine but couldn't use that momentum, suffering another break at 4-5 to hand the set to his rival in what would turn out to be one of the pivotal moments of the entire clash. Despite this setback, Federer returned stronger in the third set, stealing Dimitrov's serve in games seven and nine for a 6-3 and moving a set away from the finish line and the place in the last four.
Ready to fight until the end, Grigor earned a break at the beginning of the fourth set and defended it nicely, repelling five break chances at 5-4 in another very important moment to take the set 6-4 and force a decider. Struggling with an injury, Federer took a medical timeout but it didn't help him, taking one point on the return in the fifth set and suffering breaks in games one and three to hand the triumph to his rival who moved over the top with a hold at love in game eight.