Dimitrov downs Wawrinka to reach Queen's final
Grigor Dimitrov saw off Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets at Queen's to secure a place in Sunday's final, where he will face Feliciano Lopez.
Wawrinka hadn't been broken all week at Queen's, but gave his service game up three times against Dimitrov. It wasn't the only thing that ended up getting broken in Saturday's first semi-final, either. The world No.3's frustrations spilled over as he smashed his racquet in half to earn himself a warning late on as Dimitrov closed in on his 6-2 6-4 victory.
The defeat also brought an end to Wawrinka's run this year of going on to win every tournament he had reached the quarter-finals in, having triumphed in Chennai, at the Australian Open and the Monte Carlo Masters.
Dimitrov can now make it a hat-trick of titles - and one on each different surface - in 2014 following his tournament wins earlier this year in Acapulco and Bucharest.
Wawrinka and Dimitrov had started out the week as doubles partners, reaching the second round, with the Swiss now predicting "big things" ahead for the man nicknamed 'Baby Fed'.
Having won both of their previous meetings, Wawrinka was thoroughly outplayed in his first grass-court encounter with Dimitrov, an opponent as comfortable as anyone on the surface.
Both men have had plenty of time to get used to the grass following their first-round French Open exits, but Dimitrov looked far more at home and needed just 62 minutes to dispatch Wawrinka.
In the battle of the one-handed backhanders, the first set stayed on serve early on as Wawrinka made it 24 service games out of 24 for the week, but he soon found himself a double-break down. Having spurned three break points already, Dimitrov was given a freebie on his fourth opportunity to go 3-2 ahead when Wawrinka double faulted.
Dimitrov held to stretch his lead and then took the first of two more break points, a fine passing backhand winner down the line catching Wawrinka out.
Serving for the set, Dimitrov was forced to save two break points as Wawrinka went for broke, playing with abandon.
First Wawrinka went long with a backhand before Dimitrov bailed himself out with an ace down the middle. Wawrinka's backhand continued to misfire as he handed Dimitrov the set.
A terrific recovery saw Dimitrov save two more breaks points and hold for 2-2 in the second. Wawrinka then went long with a cross-court forehand to hand Dimitrov the break in the next game.
Wawrinka's frustration then got the better of him as he threw his racquet into the hoardings and repeatedly slammed it into the ground with a wry smile. He calmly returned to his bag to replace the remnants, before Dimitrov won the game to go 5-3 up.
Dimitrov then sealed the win with an ace for a love service game.
Next up is Lopez, who saw off Radek Stepanek - conqueror of Andy Murray in the third round - in straight sets in Saturday's second semi-final.
Lopez won 7-6(7) 6-4 in one hour and 41 minutes, reaching his 10th tour final. Lopez, 32, has the chance to become the first player in their 30s to win Queen's since a certain 30-year-old Ivan Lendl back in 1990, when he defeated Boris Becker in the final.
In their only other career meeting, also at Queen's in 2010, Lopez defeated Dimitrov 6-2 6-4 in the second round.
Meanwhile, in the men's doubles, Jamie Murray will carry the flag for Britain on final day after he and Australian partner John Peers beat French Open champions Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Julien Benneteau 6-4 7-6(4).
Murray is hoping to become the first British winner in the men's doubles at Queen's since Jeremy Bates teamed with American Kevin Curren in 1990.
Nick Atkin is an assistant editor at ESPN. You can follow him on Twitter @NickAtkinESPN