Andy Murray faces Grigor Dimitrov, the Baby Federer


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The Independent Online

Roger Federer has skipped this week’s Miami Masters, but Andy Murray will face the next best thing in the third round in Florida today.

Grigor Dimitrov is known as Baby Federer because of the similarity in playing styles between the 31-year-old Swiss and the 21-year-old Bulgarian, who reached a career-high No 31 in the world rankings earlier this month.

Although there has been as much interest in Dimitrov off the court recently after reports that he has been dating Maria Sharapova, it has usually been his classical game that has turned heads. Murray, nevertheless, has not dropped a set in their two previous meetings, the most recent in the final in Brisbane two months ago. Dimitrov, who progressed after his opponent Simone Bolelli retired with an injury, and Bernard Tomic are considered to be two of the best young talents and Miami has given Murray a chance to assess their skills. The Scot coasted to a 56-minute 6-3, 6-1 win over Tomic on Saturday in hot, humid conditions as the Australian produced another performance marked by apparent indifference. For all his talent, Tomic is regularly criticised for a poor attitude.

Asked to compare the two, Murray said: “Grigor is probably a better athlete, but in terms of tennis IQ Bernard knows how to play tennis. He has very good anticipation. He has great feel. Grigor has very good feel as well. Bernard is a really big guy. That can help. But it’s tough to say who’s better. They’ve had similar results. Maybe Bernard has done better in the Slams and he has won a tournament. Grigor has played well this year.”

Murray was asked about the crowd’s displeasure with Tomic. “If you aren’t used to playing in these conditions, it is extremely hot and tough,” Murray said. “It is tough when you’re going behind and making mistakes. I’ve done it before when my head has gone down and you still want to win, but it doesn’t always appear that way.”