Dimitrov through to men's final in Brisbane
Date January 5, 2013 - 4:59PM Read later
Grigor Dimitrov celebrates his win. Photo: Getty Images
Comparisons with Roger Federer have already been made but Bulgarian rising star Grigor Dimitrov will soon earn a name for himself judging by his 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-5) Brisbane International semi-final win over crowd favourite Marcos Baghdatis.
The youngest player in the world's top 50 belied his 21 years to outlast Baghdatis after almost two and a half hours on Saturday and book his first ATP World Tour final appearance.
He will play the winner of Saturday's other semi-final between top seed and defending champion Andy Murray and fifth-seeded Japanese young gun Kei Nishikori.
World No.48 Dimitrov's style has already reminded experts of a certain young Swiss player who went on to compile a handy resume.
Federer may be a hard act to follow but few could argue about Dimitrov's potential after the young gun shot down world No.36 Baghdatis in an epic clash.
Always the showman in Australia, Baghdatis, 27, again gave an adoring crowd plenty to cheer about by coming back from a set and a break down to ensure a tense third set tiebreak.
The spirited Cypriot has become a cult hero Down Under thanks to his wonderful rapport with crowds that has resulted in an impressive record.
He arrived at Pat Rafter Arena on Saturday with a 38-14 tally in Australia which included his sole grand slam final appearance in 2006 and his last ATP World Tour title in Sydney three years ago.
And former world No.8 Baghdatis tried to use his advantage by whipping the crowd up after receiving a time violation penalty down 4-2 in the crucial tiebreak.
But world No.48 Dimitrov was the name on everyone's lips after adding Baghdatis to a list of Brisbane scalps that also included second seed Milos Raonic of Canada and No.7 Jurgen Melzer of Austria.
Baghdatis didn't know what had hit him when Dimitrov took just eight minutes to cruise to a 3-0 lead in the first set.
And the Cypriot looked in big trouble after his double fault gifted Dimitrov a break in the third game of the second set after dropping the first in 44 minutes.
But he immediately broke back and wore down his younger opponent, using his third set point to clinch the second in 45 minutes.
He saved a break point in the ninth game to force a third set tiebreak before Dimitrov finally prevailed.
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