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By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, October 11, 2021


Grigor Dimitrov did not face a break point defeating Reilly Opelka 6-3, 6-4 to charge into the Indian Wells fourth round for the first time.

Photo credit: Getty

Towering Reilly Opelka owns undeniable point-ending power.

Grigor Dimitrov absorbed it all and countered with closing command.

Opelka: Tennis Media is Terrible, Brooksby Can Win a Grand Slam

On a blustery day with wind gusts reaching 40 mph, Dimitrov managed unruly conditions and the unpredictable American shrewdly scoring a 6-3, 6-4 victory to charge into the Indian Wells fourth round for the first time in eight appearances.

It’s Dimitrov’s fifth win in his last six matches and propels him into a round of 16 showdown against either top-seeded Daniil Medvedev or 27th-seeded Filip Krajinovic for a spot in the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals.

Should Dimitrov square off against US Open champion it would be a rematch of the 2019 US Open semifinals, which the 6’6” Russian won in straight sets. Since Dimitrov won the pair’s first meeting at the 2017 Queen’s Club, Medvedev has taken seven straight sets vs. the Bulgarian.

A San Diego semifinalist last week, Dimitrov served with authority today. Dimitrov served 77 percent, permitted just five points on first serve, dropped only three points on second serve and did not face a break point in a 73-minute win. 

The 23rd-seeded Bulgarian used his slice backhand effectively to make the big man bend low to scrape shots off his shoes surging through the final three games to close. Dimitrov has not dropped a set in two tournament wins.

Earlier, Diego Schwartzman burst out to a 5-2 lead only to see Daniel Evans unleash a seven-game run before Schwartzman streak through 10 straight games to close a 5-7, 6-4, 6-0 victory.

Tennis Express

The 11th-seeded Schwartzman saved two match points fighting past American qualifier Maxime Cressy 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, will square off against red-hot Casper Ruud in the round of 16.

“I think he's right now one of the best on tour. I mean, he's top 5 in the world playing right now,” Schwartzman said of Ruud. “He's doing finals. Every week he's winning tournaments. I think the last five tournaments he play he won four. I was with him also in the Laver Cup. He played unbelievable the first day against Opelka.

“Right now it's very difficult to play against him, because when you're playing against an opponent who is playing like this and have a lot of confidence, it's very difficult, you know. But I have to improve my tennis. It's okay right now, but I have to improve. I have to find a way to maybe have the chance. But obviously right now it's very difficult because he have the confidence, he's playing good, he's serving good. I mean, he's doing everything almost perfect right now. So it's going to be a tough match. “


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