Nadal: Bulgaria’s Dimitrov is the Present and the Future
Nadal has promised to test his young Bulgarian opponent with tennis of "high intensity". Photo by EPA/BGNES
The undisputed ruler of the red dirt Rafael Nadal has praised the rising young Bulgarian classicist Grigor Dimitrov before facing him in the quarter-finals of the Rolex Masters.
"He's playing well," Nadal said.
"He had a good chance against Djokovic in the first set of Indian Wells, then a good chance against Andy in the first set of Miami. I saw a bit of both matches. He's able to play very aggressive, has very good technique. He's a complete player."
Nadal promised to test his young opponent with tennis of "high intensity", knowing Dimitrov will put to good use all his tools, the smooth backhand, the deft drop shots and a decent serve.
The 21-year-old Bulgarian is through to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final and will face Nadal for the second time, having lost to the 11-time major champion four years ago in Rotterdam.
Expectations are that the quarterfinal match between the veteran and the young gun will be very intriguing.
Dimitrov has been in outstanding form this week with wins over Xavier Malisse, No. 8 seed Janko Tipsarevic and Florian Mayer in the third round.
Dimitrov set up the clash against Nadal after easily getting past German Florian Mayer to earn a spot in the Monte Carlo quarterfinals.
The youngster took a step nearer to entering top 30 for the first time in his career feat by recording a 6-2 6-4 win over Mayer.
Dimitrov needed just an hour and 17 minutes to seal the win.
Rafael Nadal cruised past Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday.
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