Daniil Medvedev faced Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the round of 16 at Indian Wells. The two players already have a rich history of head-to-head encounters. Their first match – in the grass tournament in London 2017 – was won by Dimitrov. But the next three matches, held on hard court, were won by Medvedev. And the Russian did not give his opponent a single set. Including in the semifinals of the US Open – 2019, where the Russian tennis player eventually lost in the decisive match.
Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev lost in the 1/8 finals of the tournament in Indian Wells, whose prize fund exceeds $8.3 million, to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov with a score of 6:4, 4:6, 3:6.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) October 13, 2021
A difficult opponent
Grigor Dimitrov answered the question after the match how he managed to turn the game in his favor when at 1-4 in the second set it seemed impossible.
“Everything is impossible until it becomes possible. Daniel is a difficult opponent, especially in the last year and a half. I’ve played him a few times and I couldn’t do anything against him, but today with the score 1:4 I calmed down a little bit, started making better decisions, better handling the ball, controlling the tempo. That helped me. I worked hard in the third set and had a lot of energy left. All in all, it worked out. I’m happy to play at this level again,” Grigor said on the air after the match.
Medvedev missed an opportunity to top the ATP rankings for the first time in his career. This would have been possible if Daniil had won the title at Indian Wells.
Three reasons for Medvedev’s loss
At the post-match press conference, Daniil Medvedev tried to explain how he was able to screw up a near-win match in the 1/8 finals of the Masters in Indian Wells.
Daniil, can you explain what happened in the match with Grigor Dimitrov? You won the set, took two break points in the second set and then you dropped eight games in a row.
Yes, I want to stress three points. First of all I want to say that I don’t remember when I lost three games in a row on my serve. Even four, especially on hard serve. It shows how slow the court was and how difficult the conditions were. I’d even say it was a bit like the clay, which I don’t like because it’s just unacceptable to lose four games in a row on serve! That’s actually why I lost that set.
“Secondly, I knew it would be much harder for me to control the ball during the day, especially on serve,” Medvedev played his first matches at this tournament late in the evening.
“That’s why at some moments I couldn’t serve at all. That’s why I asked the organizers to put my matches in the evening. But on this day it was no longer possible, because I had a day off before, and the other guys played yesterday and had to be given time to rest. This is perfectly normal, but I knew it would not be good for me.
Third, Grigor, I’ll tell you straight up, if he plays the way he did, starting with a 4-1 score in the second set, he’ll win the tournament. But let’s wait until the end of the competition,”- Daniil said.
Video: Grigor Dimitrov vs Daniil Medvedev | Indian Wells 2021 Highlights