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Grigor Dimitrov Continues Amazing Run in Indian Wells, Joined by Cam Norrie in Semifinals

Grigor Dimitrov has knocked off top-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 8-seeded Hubert Hurkacz in succession in Indian Wells. EPA-EFE/RAY ACEVEDO

By Ricky Dimon

If you had Grigor Dimitrov and Cameron Norrie in the semifinals of your BNP Paribas Open bracket…well, congratulations! You are a big winner.
Of course, in all likelihood no one did. If they say they did, they’re probably lying.

Whatever the case, Dimitrov vs. Norrie will in fact be the top-half semifinal matchup in Indian Wells on Saturday after they picked up respective victories on Thursday. After Norrie trounced Diego Schwartzman 6-0, 6-2, Dimitrov overcame Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(2).

Norrie is through to the semis of a Masters 1000 for the first time in his career and he remains in Nitto ATP Finals contention (currently 12th, but really 11th since Rafael Nadal is out for the year. Hurkacz (seventh with Nadal out) is one of the players Norrie is chasing, so the Pole’s loss to Dimitrov gave an added boost to Norrie.

Dimitrov pulled it off by serving at 74 percent and capitalizing on three of four break-point opportunities as he prevailed in two hours and 37 minutes.

“I stayed in it,” the 30-year-old commented. “Especially after that first set it was very hard for me to find my range today. I was a little bit tired from yesterday and didn’t feel I really had enough time to rest and push, but I still felt and I knew I had something in me. I knew that I had to step up and be a little bit more aggressive.

“I started reading his serve a little bit more and I had a few more looks. I kept trying and believing and I think that made the difference.”

Cameron Norrie has cracked the ATP Top 20 for the first time with his run to the Indian Wells semifinals.

Dimitrov is 0-1 lifetime against Norrie, having lost to the left-hander 7-5, 7-5 earlier this season in Miami.

“I am definitely not surprised to see Cameron Norrie in the semi-finals,” the Bulgarian. “He has been playing great–very good matches. He is a very dangerous opponent and very crafty. It is not going to be an easy match on my end.”

Okay, maybe someone picked Norrie to reach the semis!

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.