Novak Djokovic snubbed as Miami Open star names toughest player he’s ever faced | Tennis | Sport

Grigor Dimitrov has overlooked Novak Djokovic by naming Roger Federer as the toughest opponent he has ever faced during his career. Dimitrov was thrashed by Jannik Sinner in the Miami Open final on Sunday, with the 32-year-old losing in straight sets at the hands of his Italian rival.

Djokovic, who did not compete in Miami, boasts an incredible record against Dimitrov having faced the Bulgarian on no less than 13 occasions. He has won all but one of those matches, with his only defeat coming in 2013 when Dimitrov got the better of him at the Madrid Open.

However, the Serbian icon pales in comparison to Federer when it comes to the toughest opponent Dimitrov has ever played against since turning professional in 2008.

Quizzed on which player has given him the toughest time on the court, Dimitrov said: “I know for me I was going to say the toughest player that I have played at his absolute prime was Roger. 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. I haven’t had that feeling yet against anyone, so I will leave it at that, I guess. Probably that’s going to be the player I felt I suffered the most with.”

It comes after Dimitrov admitted that it will be ‘sad’ when Djokovic eventually follows Federer in retiring from professional tennis. The reigning French Open champion has not shown any signs of slowing down but will turn 37 in May and looks to be in the twilight of his career.

Earlier this month, Dimitrov hit back at suggestions that he was unlucky to have played in the same era as Djokovic and Federer as well as Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. He was quick to pour cold water on that theory, insisting that it will be ‘sad’ when all four players are no longer active.

“Totally the opposite, actually,” said Dimitrov when it was put to him that he might have won a Grand Slam if Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray had not been around. “Totally the opposite. Very lucky. How often can you say I played in an era against the best players and you have beaten them all?

“It’s great. I’m sorry, but I can live with that. You know, all that, the titles and all this, it’s great. But the journey, the ride. For me personally, not having these guys around, it’s a little sad.”

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