Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Dimitrov makes big comeback, shocks Medvedev in BNP

Grigor Dimitrov leaves the court after practicing with Alexander
Zverev last week in Indian Wells, Calif. Photo by Paul Bauman
   No. 23 seed Grigor Dimitrov rallied from a set and two breaks down to stun Daniil Medvedev, seeded first and ranked second, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 today in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.
   Dimitrov, a 30-year-old Bulgarian, overcame a 1-4 deficit in the second set and reached the quarterfinals in Indian Wells for the first time.
   "He is such a tough player and competitor," Dimitrov said in an on-court interview after improving to 2-3 against Medvedev, who won his first Grand Slam title in the U.S. Open last month. "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 believe helped me. In the end, it was just very solid and smart play."
   Dimitrov, ranked No. 28 after climbing as high as No. 3 in 2017, next will face Poland's Hubert Hurkacz, seeded eighth and ranked 12th. Hurkacz, who advanced to his first major semifinal at Wimbledon in July and won his third ATP title of the year in Metz, France, last month, dismissed No. 19 seed Aslan Karatsev of Russia 6-1, 6-3 in 63 minutes.
   Also reaching the quarterfinals were No. 21 seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain and No. 31 seed Taylor Fritz of Rancho Palos Verdes in the Los Angeles area. Both won back-to-back Northern California Challengers, Norrie in Tiburon and Stockton in 2017 and Fritz in Sacramento and Fairfield at 17 in 2015.
   In the BNP women's quarterfinals, No. 27 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus defeated No. 19 seed Jessica Pegula of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-4, 6-2.
   Azarenka, a 32-year-old mother and former world No. 1, won Indian Wells in 2012 and 2016 and the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2010. Pegula reached a NorCal Challenger final in 2012 at 18 and semifinal in 2018
   Azarenka is scheduled to meet Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko, the No. 24 seed who eliminated unseeded Shelby Rogers of Charleston, S.C., 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Rogers played on her 29th birthday.
   Ostapenko ousted No. 2 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland on Tuesday in a matchup of former French Open champions. Rogers reached the round of 16 in the recent U.S. Open, knocking off top-ranked Ashleigh Barty before losing to eventual champion Emma Raducanu.
   The other two women's quarterfinals are set for Thursday.

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