With a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Grigor Dimitrov on Friday at the 2022 Indian Wells, Andrey Rublev extended his winning streak to 13 matches. Rublev continued his stellar form in Indian Wells, reaching the semi-finals for the first time after winning back-to-back ATP Tour titles in Marseille and Dubai. In a match between former junior World No. 1s, he never trailed in a 7-5, 6-2 victory over 33rd seed Grigor Dimitrov on Friday at the BNP Paribas Open. Rublev will tie his career-long winning streak of 15 if he wins the title in Indian Wells.
“I played really well,” Rublev said. “Since the beginning, it was more about who would be the first one, who would start to lead the point, who would start to dictate to play more aggressive. Both of us would like to take our forehand and try to dictate, so it was just who’s going to be the first one.”
Rublev only dropped seven points on his first serve in the match, winning 81 percent (29/36) of them and only dropping serve once. That break came at a crucial time, with Dimitrov preventing the fourth seed from serving out the opening set with a sweetly struck backhand pass.
Rublev, on the other hand, responded with an immediate break and found a higher gear to overwhelm the Bulgarian for the remainder of the race. Dimitrov was powerless to stop the relentless attack because of his powerful baseline game. Rublev raced to a 5-1 lead in set two after sealing the first set with an ace — one of four in the match — thanks to a decisive run in which he won seven of eight games. In 31 service games, Dimitrov had only faced two break points and had only dropped serve once, but Rublev managed four breaks on ten chances in the quarterfinal.
“Return here is one of the most important things,” he said. “If you can bring as many returns as possible [into the court], and then here with these conditions, in some moments it’s tough to serve. But this is for everyone.”
Dimitrov, like in the first set, fought valiantly against the odds, saving a match point to win 5-2 in a four-deuce game, the longest of the 90-minute match. In the final game of the match, he brought up a break point before Rublev closed the door.