ROTTERDAM (Feb. 15, 2013) — While one player notched his 200th career win, the other notched his 200th career loss — but the order is not what you might expect, as world No. 39 Julien Benneteau shocked Roger Federer to reach the semifinals with an 80 minute 6-3, 7-5 win.
“Benneteau deserved to win”, Federer admitted. “He played strong and created more chances than I did.” This is not something you expect of the Swiss’ game, but all champions have off days no matter their degree of preparation. Federer continued: “I had a fine preparation, but that’s no guarantee for success. It is unfortunate for the people who hoped to see me play on Saturday and Sunday. Instead, I’m now going to South Africa to promote my foundation. Hopefully I will meet Nelson Mandela.”
But that’s not a bad way to spend one’s weekend either.
In other singles’ news, world No. 41 Grigor Dimitrov dispatched of his good friend and doubles partner Marcos Baghdatis, 7-6(4), 6-7(0), 6-3 and not without a few insane runs, slides and falls by the young Bulgarian.
As Baghdatis’ final ball went long, the 21-year-old celebrated his victory by jumping over the net and warmly embracing the Cypriot.
“That was the last bit of energy I got left in me “, Dimitrov joked afterward. “Fortunately, I didn’t hurt myself. I’m tired after this tough fight as it’s always difficult to play against a good friend.”
Dimitrov will next face Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals who defeated Jarkko Nieminen in straight sets. The other semifinal will pit Benneteau against fellow countryman Gilles Simon who progressed through when Martin Klizan retired due to cramping.
(Gallery by Tennis Grandstand photographer Rick Gleijm.)