Roger Federer vs Grigor "Baby Federer" Dimitrov â€“ as decent as the baby version might be, there looks like being only one winner in this third round match of the 2016 Australian Open.
Federer, the actual one, has looked smooth as silk in his first two matches, barely putting a foot wrong and ensuring he spends as little time as possible in all that Melbourne heat. Federer will undoubtedly face his stiffest test yet at this Australian Open against Dimitrov, but if the Swiss master shows his top form again, it should be another comfortable-enough victory.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion has already beaten Dimitrov this season, in the Brisbane International, earlier this month. That was a difficult three-set victory, with Federer, at the time, struggling with illness.
"Brisbane overall was tough to judge in the sense that I was just playing within myself, trying to sort of get through the matches without too many long rallies," Federer said when asked about his 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4 win over Dimitrov in the quarterfinals in Brisbane.
"So it's hard to think back at the matches and think like what went well and what didn't go so well. I think it's more maybe the coaches that can remind me of these things, and I might go back in time when I was feeling actually normal against, like, let's say Grigor.
"I think he did well in Sydney, and that definitely also gave him a bit of a lift if he takes the positives out of the tournament, because wasting match point in a final is not a great thing. I have gone through spells of these and they are the worst. If you look at the positive side, he should have, could have won the tournament.
"So he's, you know, on a high right now, as well. I think it's a tough draw, to be honest. He's got the game to be really dangerous. He's fit enough for a five-setter, so, yeah, I mean, got to definitely bring my best game to the court."
Dimitrov is coming off a final appearance in Sydney and two hard-earned wins in the first couple of rounds of the Australian Open. The No.27 seed will know he will need his A-game, and then some, to beat Federer on Friday.
"I just played him a couple weeks ago. Obviously it's not an easy match," Dimitrov said of playing Federer. "But I feel that I've been playing good. I have quite a few matches behind my back already. It's an exciting match for me to be able to get to the third round and play against him. It's a good start.
"I'm out here to perform the best way I can, and hopefully I can play better tennis and sort of play better I think than Brisbane and maybe do couple of things different that I thought I could have done back then. I think that's that about it."
Where to Watch Live
The Australian Open third round is scheduled as the third match of the day session on the Rod Laver Arena. The first match is set to begin at 11 am local time (5.30 am IST, 12 am GMT, 7 pm ET). Live coverage of the Australian Open third round match will be on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD in India, with the online live streaming option on Sonyliv.
BBC will broadcast the Australian Open live in the UK and Ireland, while all the action can also be live streamed on BBCiPlayer. Eurosport and Eurosport Player will show Federer vs Dimitrov live in the rest of Europe. Channel 7 will broadcast the Australian Open live in Australia.
ESPN is the place to be to watch the tennis action in the US and Canada, while the live stream option is on Watch ESPN.
Bein Sports and Bein Sports Connect will broadcast the Australian Open third round in the Middle East and North Africa.
Fox Sports will bring you live coverage of the Australian Open in South East Asia.