Grigor Dimitrov compares facing Jannik Sinner and Roger Federer in toughest opponent claim

Ewan West
Grigor Dimitrov compares facing Roger Federer and Jannik Sinner after 2024 Miami Open final
Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer

Grigor Dimitrov has suggested that the challenge of playing Jannik Sinner does not compare to facing a peak Roger Federer after his crushing loss to the Italian in the 2024 Miami Open final. 

The Bulgarian star revealed Federer is “the toughest player” he has faced “at his absolute prime” and admitted the Swiss icon made him want to “dig a hole and disappear” during one of their matches.

Dimitrov was dismantled 6-3, 6-1 by new world No 2 Sinner in the final of the Miami Open on Sunday — with the 22-year-old delivering a masterclass to continue his sublime form.

Sinner now holds a 22-1 record in 2024 and has won 25 of his last 26 matches after claiming his second career ATP Masters 1000 crown and third title of the season.

READ MORE: Staggering statistics behind Jannik Sinner’s dominant Miami Open triumph

The Italian won his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2024 Australian Open in January and has consistently played at a stellar level since the 2023 US Open.

Dimitrov has also had the experience of taking on tennis legends Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic when they were at the peak of their powers.

The 32-year-old, who has climbed to ninth in the world following his brilliant run in Miami, lost his first seven encounters with Federer, before winning the pair’s final meeting at the 2019 US Open.

Following the Miami Open final, Dimitrov was asked to compare the challenge of facing Sinner to his experiences of playing some of tennis’ all-time greats in their prime.

“I know for me, I was going to say the toughest player that I have played at his absolute prime was Roger,” the Bulgarian said in his press conference.

“Just too funny, actually. I remember a few times, even at Wimbledon, once I remember it was just — I wanted to dig a hole and disappear (smiling).

“I haven’t had that feeling yet against anyone [else], so I will leave it at that, I guess. Yeah, probably that’s going to be the player I felt like, yeah, I suffered the most with.”

The nine-time ATP titlist, who reached a career-high ranking of world No 3 in 2017, also discussed his achievement of returning to the top 10.

“I mean, all these wins that I have been able to put back to back, not only not just this week, I think the past seven, eight months, that’s the reason why I’m back into the top 10,” Dimitrov assessed.

“Of course, extremely happy, no doubt about that. But yeah, it starts, for me personally, starts to be even more interesting how I can make it difficult for any one of these guys. I think slowly but surely I’m starting to understand that a little bit.

“Learning that now I think a little bit more, since I have played against so many different generations, I always feel like I had to adapt sort of or learn.”

READ MORE: Jannik Sinner ‘is best player right now in the world’