The common response to hearing the name of Grigor Dimitrov, the 15th seed at this year's Australian Open, is to qualify it with the question - you mean Sharapova's ex?

In a recent piece, Dimitrov himself admitted that his previous relationship with Maria Sharapova may have held him back in his development as a Tennis player. Given the way he has been able to make steady, but mainly unnoticed progress to book a semi-final berth against the in-form Rafael Nadal - it would be difficult to argue with his summations.

Making a name for himself

Given the way that Rafael Nadal has been playing and seems to have shrugged off any injury niggles that plagued him all last season. Victory for Dimitrov in this intriguing encounter would ensure that the only topic of conversation surrounding him would relate to his tennis form. This is only Dimitrov's second Grand Slam semi-final of his career (Wimbledon 2014). The nature of his commanding straight sets 3rd round victory against the tricky Gasquet and, his quarter-final demolition of Goffin, give the strong impression that Dimitrov is more at ease with his game and his undoubted natural ability now than he has ever been.

Dimitrov v Nadal: head to head

Given the length of time that these two players have spent in the top twenty in the world of men's tennis - it will come as no surprise you to learn that these two have met eight times before in their professional careers.

Nadal holds a 7-1 lead, but his last win over the Bulgarian was in 2015. Dimitrov won their most recent encounter, last year in Beijing. The magnitude of this latest encounter and the rejuvenation in Dimitrov's form means that it would not be wise to pay too much attention to the head to head record.

Dimitrov is the only one left in the men's draw who does not have a Grand Slam title to his name.

This is not as big a disadvantage as it may appear, as he has shown a hunger for victory that has been missing before and needs only to further harness this and he could cause Nadal serious problems.

This match is scheduled for the 27th of January 2017.

Prediction: It'll be a close one, but slight preference is for Dimitrov to make his first Grand Slam final - about time Grigor!