The prediction of Daniil Medvedev, his victim from the previous round, still stands: Grigor Dimitrov, very impressive the day before to turn the situation against him, is still on his way to winning the tournament. Manhandled by Hubert Hurkacz, solid on his patterns to lead 6-4, 3-3 and two break points in the key, the Bulgarian was once again able to reverse the course of the match against a Pole, assured of being in the top 10 on Monday.
First by saving these break points (smash, damped), then by snatching the second round on a very happy let. And by making speak his “touch” to upset an opponent a little more frozen in his channels. Lively in his movements, stylish in passing, always helped by his cross forehand counters and his famous backhand slices, Dimitrov again saved the lead at 1-1 in the third set by saving two new break points, including the second on an incredible extended volley (when we talk about “touch” …), before making the break in the seventh game.
Serving for the match at 5-3, he had to deal with a touch of nervousness and the ability of his opponent to tighten the game. And everything was played in the decisive tie-break. Taking advantage of four backhand faults from the Pole, Dimitrov could celebrate after 2h37 of play his 100th victory in the Masters 1000. He returned to the semi-finals for the first time at this level since Bercy 2019.
Where he will face Cameron Norrie, who continues his unruffled path in Indian Wells. Qualified for the first time in his career in the semifinals of a Masters 1000, the Briton was played in 1:13 by a pale Diego Schwartzman (6-0, 6-2).
First Masters 1000 semi-final for Cameron Norrie. (C. Brunskill / Getty images / AFP)
The hardness of their three previous confrontations, as well as the extreme slowness of the surface, foreshadowed the idea of a fight from the baseline. It has not happened. The Argentinian out of the shot (16% of points gained on his second ball …) multiplied unforced errors while Norrie, more and more stainless in the rallies, committed only three in a first round dispatched in thirty-one minute.
Thanks to this 45th victory in a season rich in four finals (including a title in Los Cabos), Norrie will become the British No.1 and, above all, place himself in view of the race for qualification for the Masters, where he is now in 12th position.