Grigor Dimitrov registered an incredible comeback at the BNP Paribas Open, rallying from a set and a double-break down to shock top seed Daniil Medvedev in Indian Wells. The 23rd seed battled back from 4-6, 1-4 down to move past the Russian 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and reach the quarter-finals in Indian Wells for the first time. Appeared to be in cruise control, Medvedev suddenly lost his way, making just 34 per cent of his first serves in the second set. Dimitrov’s aggressive game worked, as he forced the World No. 2 into errors. The Bulgarian, who won eight straight games, eventually advanced after two hours and 16 minutes.
“He is such a tough player and competitor,” Dimitrov said in his on-court interview. “Over the past year, I have played him a few times and haven’t been able to find a way. But today, I just felt something at 1-4 and I calmed myself down and started to take better decisions and started to control the pace of the game, which I really believed helped me. In the end it was just very solid and smart play.”
Next up is the eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz for Dimitrov after the Pole defeated Russia’s Aslan Karatsev 6-1, 6-3. “I am happy that I get the opportunity to play again at this level,” Dimitrov added. “There were lots of ups and downs and you never know what is going to happen, so I am really trying to be appreciative of the moment I get to be out here on the court and work and stay humble. That is the only thing you can control.”
Meanwhile, top seed Daniil Medvedev does not consider the fourth-round defeat to Grigor Dimitrov as “the end of the world.” When asked whether he could put the result into perspective, Medvedev said: “100 per cent. If I would lose the US Open final, maybe [I] would have been a little bit tough on myself. But I do think I see kind of the reasons why this happened. Grigor played [the] second part of the match better than anybody did against me [at the] US Open that I won. Playing this level, I don’t see him losing to anybody, but let’s see the result.
“I don’t see [it as the] end of the world this match. I’m definitely going to just continue working for the next one and just try to be better next time, because, Indian Wells, I really like the place, so I want to try to do better one day.”
The 25-year-old also hinted that the slower conditions in California played a factor in his defeat. “I don’t remember myself losing three service games, even four service games ever, I guess, on hard courts,” Medvedev said. “That shows how slow this court is and the conditions, more like clay, I would say, which I don’t like, because to lose serve four times is just unacceptable. I knew that during the day, [it is] much tougher to control the ball for me, especially on the serve.”