World number fifteen Grigor Dimitrov secured his place in the semifinals of a grand slam for the second time in his career with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over David Goffin at the Australian Open. With this win, Dimitrov becomes the first Bulgarian in history to make multiple grand slam finals. Dimitrov will face off against either Rafael Nadal or Milos Raonic for a place in the final.
Dimitrov was very much in control throughout the match as Goffin's inconsistent hitting earned him forty-six unforced errors compared to just twenty-five from Dimitrov. The pair traded breaks in the opening two sets but Dimitrov managed to break again in both and hold on to his lead when it mattered, then taking a two-break lead in the second. Goffin didn't trouble the Bulgarian on serve in the third set, unable to earn one break opportunity as Dimitrov dominated to book a place in the last four.
Battling through the opener
Excellent serving from Dimitrov seen him quickly sail through his opening service game to begin the match. The Bulgarian then took advantage of a loose game from Goffin, a double fault and a couple of unforced errors allowing Dimitrov to steal the early break. Another easy hold followed for Dimitrov as he dictated his way through to a 3-0 lead.
Goffin got his first hold of the set with some much better play bringing him through a hold to love. The Belgian switched the momentum in his favor and fought for the break back, a huge crosscourt backhand bringing up a fourth break point which he took with a forehand error from Dimitrov to bring the pair back on serve. Outstanding defense from Goffin gave him the first point on serve as he came through his second love hold of the set.
A Dimitrov double fault gave the Belgian a lead on return but the Bulgarian battled hard, huge serves in the crucial movements seen him through an important hold to end Goffin's run at three games in a row. Dimitrov fired two scorching forehand winners in a row to erase a game point and bring up a break point. Goffin struck an ace out wide to bring them back to deuce but a costly forehand error brought up a second break opportunity for the Bulgarian. Another great serve under pressure saved the break chance again but Dimitrov got a look at a second serve on the fourth, then coming out on top of a twenty-two stroke rally to take the break that gave him the chance to serve out the opening set at 5-3.
A brilliantly angled backhand crosscourt from Goffin forced the error from his opponent and brought up a break back point. A bad miss on return sent them to deuce and a couple of loose points in a row from the Belgian gave Dimitrov the opening set 6-3.
Dimitrov takes control
Goffin had a slow start to the second set as a double fault brought up two break points for Dimitrov in the opening game. The Bulgarian fired a forehand winner to take the lead and keep his momentum running. The lead didn't last long as Dimitrov had the same loose start to this service game and Goffin took advantage to gain the break back. The Bulgarian went into the lead on return again in the following game with an error from Goffin and an excellent change of direction with the forehand. A perfectly struck backhand crosscourt winner from the Belgian and a volley into the net from Dimitrov leveled them at 30-30. A double fault brought up a chance at another break for the Bulgarian but a return into the net brought them to deuce. Two untimely errors in a row from Goffin handed Dimitrov back his lead at 2-1.
Dimitrov had to fight to extend his lead but eventually prevailed in another mini-battle on serve to move further in front. The Bulgarian then erased a Goffin game point with a stunning backhand down the line return winner. Goffin battled through the crucial hold to stay a game away from Dimitrov. A great backhand down the line winner from Goffin brought up a break point but two very close misses in a row from the Belgian handed Dimitrov a game point, another error giving him the hold for a 4-2 lead.
A nightmare service game followed for Goffin after the disappointment of missing the break back point. Dimitrov broke again easily to earn the chance to serve out the second set. A chance for the Belgian to break back was quickly dealt with by Dimitrov as he fired a forehand winner to take them to deuce. A forehand return winner brought up a second break opportunity but an error into the net left the pair at deuce again. Dimitrov kept battling, saving a total of three break points and taking the set 6-2 on his second set point to close in on a place in the semifinals.
Cruising to victory
The pair began the third set with an easy hold of serve each. Confident play from Dimitrov seen him earn a break point in the third game but huge serving in the crucial moments brought Goffin through the game and into the lead at 2-1. There were some better signs already for the Belgian but he was yet to make his mark on the return as Dimitrov dictated his way out of another service game to level the pair.
Goffin was made to work hard on serve again but a perfect volley winner brought up game point at deuce, saving two break points on his way through another tough battle to stay in the lead in the third set. Dimitrov cruised through a love hold to put the pressure straight back on Goffin. From 40-15 up in the next game, four errors in a row handed Dimitrov the break for a 4-3 lead.
Dimitrov had yet to face a break point in the third set and kept that run going as he came through another good hold to extend his lead to 5-3. The Bulgarian battled on return as Goffin was serving to stay in the match and earned two match points. Aggressive groundstrokes from Goffin saved both, forcing Dimitrov to serve out the match. There were no signs of nerves from the Bulgarian as he served it out to love, firing a scorching backhand down the line winner to secure his place in the semifinals in Melbourne for the first time.