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Dimitrov takes down Medvedev to reach Indian Wells quarter-finals

Grigor Dimitrov shocks top-seeded Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round of the Indian Wells Masters on Wednesday afternoon. Dimitrov’s reward is a quarter-final clash against Hubert Hurkacz.

Grigor Dimitrov Indian Wells 2021 © Andy Abeyta

2021 BNP Paribas Open | Draw | Order of Play


DIMITROV (23) d. MEDVEDEV (1) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

  • What happened: Dimitrov mounted a miracle comeback from a set down and double-break down in the second.
  • You will also learn: Victories over top-2 opponents have been few and far between throughout Dimitrov’s career.
  • Why you should read this: It was a shocking result, especially given that Dimitrov trailed 6-4, 4-1 at one point.

Daniil Medvedev has been the best player on tour dating back to the start of the North American hard-court swing. For a set and half on Wednesday, he certainly looked like it.

From out of nowhere, however, Grigor Dimitrov stormed back to stun the top seed at the BNP Paribas Open 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and earn an unexpected spot in the quarter-finals. Dimitrov triumphed after two hours and 14 minutes for one of the biggest wins of his career.

Dimitrov back from the dead

With Medvedev already leading by a set, it looked all but over when the Russian broke Dimitrov three times in a row to begin the second. Although the Bulgarian earned one service break of his own, he quickly found himself trailing by a double-break at 4-1.

However, Dimitrov’s comeback was fast and furious. The 30-year-old reeled off five consecutive games to steal the second set and did not look back in the third. Medvedev broke once to stay alive, but there would be no comeback of his own. Dimitrov held serve with ease on his second time of asking at 5-3, closing out the match at love.

“I don’t know,” the world No 28 said when asked about how he turned it around. “I guess I stayed in the game. I think it was very important to stay in the game…. The first two points at 4-1 was where everything started to turn around for me a little bit. I think little by little I was just trying to stay in the game, stay in the moment, and really fight through every opportunity I had. I really had to go for it.

“Of course, at some point I really had to alter my game a little bit to kind of adapt towards the lead. After the second break it was 4-all, then I had a very good service game. Then, yeah, I didn’t expect to break him at 5-4 but I picked up on all the serves he went for. His percentage of the serve dropped a lot. That was giving a lot more looks for me.”

Dimitrov is now 3-22 lifetime against top-2 opponents. It was first such victory since upsetting world No 2 Andy Murray in the third round of the 2016 Miami Masters.

No Medvedev vs. Hurkacz rematch

Next up for Dimitrov is a showdown against Hubert Hurkacz on Thursday. The Pole crushed Aslan Karatsev earlier on Wednesday.

Medvedev vs. Hurkacz would have been a rematch of two extremely entertaining contests from earlier this summer. Hurkacz pulled off a five-set upset in the Wimbledon fourth round before Medvedev prevailed 2-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(5) in the Toronto quarters.

Instead, it will be Dimitrov vs. Hurkacz. They have no such history against each other, as Thursday will mark their first-ever meeting.

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