US Open champion Medvedev stunned by Dimitrov in Indian Wells

INDIAN PROPERTY: Defending US Open champion Daniil Medvedev (Photo) joined the growing casualty list among ATP / WTA seed Indian Wells on Wednesday, losing in the fourth round to the world number one. 28 Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Medvedev, who won his first Grand Slam title last month at Flushing Meadows, had not lost a set until the fourth round but lost eight straight games, and his serve was broken six times against Dimitrov, en route to a superb early release for the top seed.

“I don’t remember losing three serve games, even four serve games on hard courts,” Medvedev said.

“It shows how slow this court is and the conditions, more like clay, which I don’t like. Losing four times the service is simply unacceptable. That’s why I lost the (second) set. “

World number 2 Medvedev didn’t take a break from his emotional victory at the US Open and said his busy schedule may have finally caught up with him.

“I felt exhausted in this tournament. Now I can tell. I couldn’t tell before my matches. There are a few physical things that have happened, ”said Medvedev, who hopes to eventually overtake the world number one. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Medvedev won the first set, led 4-1 in the second and looked to be heading for another easy win when the wheels came off: his unforced errors multiplied and the serve game fell flat.

Medvedev had no answer on how Dimitrov was playing and predicted that the Bulgarian would likely go on to win the title.

“If he plays like that, like he played me 4-1, then he’s going to win the tournament,” Medvedev said.

“He played the second half of the game better than anyone against me at the US Open. It’s not like I gave him the game. “

The game turned into game six of the second set as Dimitrov broke Medvedev’s serve for the second time in the set to reduce the Russian’s lead to 4-2.

Dimitrov maintained serve in the next game, then broke Medvedev’s serve two more times to win the set and lay the groundwork for a dominant performance in the third.

The Bulgarian ended the match on match point, when Medvedev landed a long forehand.

“I watched a lot of his games,” Dimitrov said of Medvedev. “I really wanted to play this game to be completely honest. What he has been able to accomplish over the past year and a half is quite incredible. I think that really pushes me to do better as well. “

Dimitrov will face Polish eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Russian Aslan Karatsev 6-1, 6-3 on Wednesday in the quarter-finals.

Medvedev, 25, beat Djokovic in the US Open final last month to prevent the Serbian star from becoming the first man since legendary Rod Laver in the 1960s to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same year .

On Wednesday, Medvedev committed six double faults in the two-hour, 15-minute match at the main stadium.

Medvedev, who won 50 games in 2021, described it as a minor setback as this event is not a Grand Slam.

“I don’t see this as the end of the world. I don’t think that would happen in a Grand Slam, ”he said.

This is the second time Dimitrov has beaten Medvedev in five career meetings. The last time was a three-set victory when they first met in 2017 in London.

In the other men’s fourth round matches on Wednesday, second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Alex De Minaur of Australia 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 and l German Alexander Zverev, third seed, dominated France. Gaël Monfils 6-1, 6-3 in just 61 minutes.

In the women’s draw, two-time winner Victoria Azarenka landed her ticket to the semi-finals with a straight-set victory – 6-4, 6-2 – over Jessica Pegula.

Azarenka, who is the only remaining female and male player to win at Indian Wells, won the title in 2012 and 2016.

The 32-year-old Belarusian took 94 minutes to end American Pegula’s race and reach the bottom four in that event for the fourth time in her career.

“I played really well in the crucial moments,” said Azarenka. “I felt like I reacted a lot on occasion. That’s what I’m really happy with today. “

Azarenka will then face Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the women’s final. – AFP

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