Grigor Dimitrov’s incredible run at the BNP Paribas Open has continued with another massive scalp. He backed up his victory over top seed Daniil Medvedev by coming back from a set down to defeat Hubert Hurkacz on Thursday in Indian Wells. The Bulgarian stepped up his level from the second set onwards to edge past the 24-year-old 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, and reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final of the season. As a result of his come-from-behind victory, Dimitrov has now earned 100 Masters 1000 wins.
“I stayed in it,” Dimitrov said in his on-court interview. “Especially after that first set it was very hard for me to find my range today. I was a little bit tired from yesterday and didn’t feel I really had enough time to rest and push, but I still felt and I knew I had something in me. I knew that I had to step up and be a little bit more aggressive. I started reading his serve a little bit more and I had a few more looks. I kept trying and believing and I think that made the difference.”
On the back of the first set disappointment, Dimitrov saved two break points at 3-3 (15/40) in the second set. Then, he levelled via a netcord on set point, raising his arms in the air. With momentum on his side, the World No. 28 raced away with the match in the third set, but then squandered a 5-2 lead in the decider. However, he regained his focus just on time to advance after two hours and 40 minutes. The 23rd seed now leads Hurkacz 1-0 in their ATP Head-2-Head series.
“I am trying to get back to a good rhythm of tennis and living and being pain free with my body,” Dimitrov said. “Waking up and feeling my body is there gives me confidence. I am really enjoying my everyday life.”
Just a day earlier, Dimitrov produced arguably the biggest shock of the tournament in sensational fashion. He had battled back from a set and a double-break down against Medvedev in the fourth round.
Next up for the 30-year-old will be a clash against Cameron Norrie. The Brit had earlier boosted his hopes to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals by sweeping aside Diego Schwartzman 6-0, 6-2 to reach his maiden Masters 1000 semi-final.
“I am definitely not surprised to see Cameron Norrie in the semi-finals,” Dimitrov added. “He has been playing great, very good matches. He is a very dangerous opponent and very crafty. It is not going to be an easy match my end.”
Meanwhile, Norrie, in his on-court interview, said: “Everything went my way today. Right from the beginning, I was timing the ball well. I thought I was in for a long match because the previous times we have played have been so long and so physical so I was ready for that. I hit a lot of lines in the first set and stayed tough in the second and served well when I needed to. I am so happy to be through, it is such a big win for me.”
“I have been pretty consistent this year. I think I am really doing the fundamentals well on serve and return and playing the big points better. I have been a little more aggressive and feel I am learning more as I go along and becoming more experienced. We are really happy.”