Fixture: (4) Grigor Dimitrov vs (5) Milos Raonic
Date: 22 October 2020
Tournament: ATP European Open 2020
Venue: Antwerp, Belgium
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €394,800
Match timing: Approx. 8.20 pm CEST, 11.50 pm IST
Live telecast: United States - Tennis Channel
Grigor Dimitrov vs Milos Raonic preview
The quarterfinal round of the 2020 European Open will witness a familiar clash, with fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov taking on fifth-seeded Milos Raonic.
Dimitrov, who had to dig deep in his opening match against Spain's Pablo Andujar, talked at length in his press conference about his comfort level playing indoors. He sounded optimistic about his chances of doing well in Antwerp, but his task will be anything but easy in the last eight clash.
Raonic has a similar level of comfort playing under the closed roof. The Canadian's serve, which is considered one of the strongest on tour, can be a huge weapon in these conditions.
Raonic is in the midst of a good season - one that has seen him return to the second week of a Slam and reach a fourth Masters 1000 final. He seems to have rediscovered the magic on his serve, and has looked confident playing in the Belgian city.
Not only has the Canadian held in 100% of his service games, but has conceded just two break point opportunities in the two matches combined.
Raonic has also won both the tiebreakers played here this week, which makes his game plan very clear. He has put in everything to maintain an extremely high level behind his first serve, and it is up to Dimitrov to find a way to counter that strategy.
Grigor Dimitrov vs Milos Raonic head-to-head
The two men know each other's game very well, having had five prior meetings spread over the last decade. Grigor Dimitrov leads the head-to-head 3-2, but it is Milos Raonic who has managed to take their oldest as well as latest meeting.
That last match was on the clay courts of Madrid, where Raonic came through in three sets. Unfortunately for him though, he has lost his last three hardcourt matches against Dimitrov - with the Bulgarian dropping just one set in the process.
Grigor Dimitrov vs Milos Raonic prediction
Grigor Dimitrov should be the favorite on paper, but has not played as well as he would have liked to in his last few campaigns. Dimitrov has struggled to play the big points well lately, as was evident in his loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Paris and to Denis Shapovalov in Rome.
The fourth seed seemed to have similar problems in his opener against Andujar, but managed to come through in the end. He later credited that to the fact that he enjoys playing on indoor courts.
But given his opponent's current form and increasingly dangerous looking serve, Dimitrov will need more than just favorable conditions to emerge victorious.
Prediction: Milos Raonic to win in three sets.