AEGON Championships: Grigor Dimitrov beats Stanislas Wawrinka to reach final
Last Updated: 14/06/14 5:34pm
Grigor Dimitrov will chase his first grass court title at Queen's Club after dispatching top seed Stanislas Wawrinka in a one-sided Aegon Championships semi-final.
The Bulgarian fourth seed dislodged Swiss world No 3 Wawrinka 6-2 6-4 to close in on his third tour crown of 2014.
The 23-year-old world No 13 has already scooped silverware in Acapulco and Bucharest this year, and will chase a third title in Sunday's final.
Wawrinka proved Dimitrov's first real test of any calibre at Queen's, after eighth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov withdrew from Friday's quarter-final with thigh trouble - and he emerged with plenty of credit.
Both players showed impressive enterprise on the grass, but it was Dimitrov's superior net-court craft that guided him home in straight sets past in-form Wawrinka, who had only dropped one set en route to the final.
Dimitrov needed just 61 minutes to win and will next face Feliciano Lopez after the 10th seed from Spain outgunned wily Czech Radek Stepanek 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.
It was the Bulgarian's second semi-final at Queen's following a 2012 loss to David Nalbandian and this time he was able to go one step further.
If the 23-year-old lifts the trophy, it will go some way to silencing the critics who claim he should have fulfilled his potential by now.
"It's tough to define the word 'breakthrough'," Dimitrov said. "Of course, you would want to be more consistent. I think that's more my word for it.
"Sometimes people make a big deal out of the breakthrough. To me, it's just a stage that you've got to go through.
He's been having a great year already, winning two titles. I'm sure he can achieve big things in tennis.
Wawrinka on Dimitrov
"Some people find it very easy and acclimate themself pretty fast to the atmosphere and to the stage. Others it just takes time. Everyone is different."
Playing with more freedom, Dimitrov has raced through the draw, adding an admiring Wawrinka to a list of scalps that already includes Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych this year.
"His game is similar to Roger (Federer). He has a one-handed backhand, a big forehand and can serve well," Wawrinka said of a player once dubbed 'Baby Fed'.
"He's been having a great year already, winning two titles. I'm sure he can achieve big things in tennis."
Meanwhile, 32-year-old Spaniard Lopez saw off evergreen Stepanek to progress to Sunday's showpiece showdown.
The world No 29 claimed grass-court victory at Eastbourne last summer, and will now look to follow that up in Kensington.
Lopez had seen off four-time Queen's winner Lleyton Hewitt, Kenny De Schepper and No 2 seed Tomas Berdych to line up against 35-year-old Stepanek in the semi-finals.
Now the Toledo-born left-hander will fight out the £74,654 top prize with cool customer Dimitrov.