Dimitrov downs top-seeded Medvedev at Indian Wells

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Grigor Dimitrov outlasted top-seeded Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open, extending the parade of upsets that has knocked out several top players.

Medvedev’s loss left the combined ATP and WTA tournament without its top two men’s and women’s seeds. Karolina Pliskova lost in the third round. No. 2 Iga Swiatek went out in the fourth round.

Dimitrov rallied from a set and double-break down to upset Medvedev, the U.S. Open champion who was chasing his fifth title of the year. Dimitrov, seeded 23rd, earned his first win over a Top-2 player since 2016, when he beat Andy Murray in Miami.

No. 2 Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Alex de Minaur 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 6-2, and No. 3 Alexander Zverev routed No. 14 Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-3.

Dimitrov reached the quarterfinals at Indian Wells for the first time. He’ll meet No. 8 Hubert Hurkacz, who beat 19th-seeded Asian Karatsev 6-1, 6-3.

“I always wanted to do well out here,” Dimitrov said. “I felt like I had so many chances throughout the years. I’ve lost very close matches, matches from match points and everything. I was very determined.”

Medvedev took control from the start, connecting on 80% of his first serves in the opening set. The Russian built a 4-1 lead in the second set before Dimitrov began turning the match around in front of a sparse crowd.

“He definitely flipped the switch,” Medvedev said. “If he plays like this, like he did starting from 4-1, he’s going to win the tournament.”

Dimitrov ran off five straight games to take the second set and even the match. The Bulgarian charged the net and closed out the match on Medvedev’s forehand that sailed long.

“He’s been the guy that has been playing the best out of everyone and always finding a way,” Dimitrov said. “It was a great, great match for me to win. But that’s not the end. That’s just another match at the same time. I got to stay focused and I got to look what’s ahead of me and move forward.”

Medvedev fell to 18-2 in North America over his last five events. He won in Toronto, reached the semifinals in Cincinnati, won the U.S. Open and then helped Team Europe beat Team World in the Laver Cup in Boston. He is 50-11 in matches this year, and is re-considering his plans to play in his hometown of Moscow next week.

“I really want to do, but yeah, I need to take care of my body,” Medvedev said. “I did feel exhausted this tournament.”

In women’s quarterfinals, former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka beat American Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-2. Azarenka, the 2016 tournament champion, next plays 24th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko.

Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, beat Shelby Rogers 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on the American’s 29th birthday.

“I feel like my tennis is getting better, more consistent,” Ostapenko said.

Attendance is limited to 60% capacity at Indian Wells Tennis Garden because of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the tournament to the fall from its usual March date on the calendar.

Also reaching the quarterfinals were No. 11 Diego Schwartzman, No. 21 Cameron Norrie, No. 29 Nikoloz Basilashvili and American Taylor Fritz.

Schwartzman beat sixth-seeded Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3. Norrie ended the hopes of American Tommy Paul with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory. Basilashvili beat Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6 (6). Fritz, who grew up in the Los Angeles area and frequently attended the tournament as a youngster, beat No. 10 Jannik Sinner 6-4, 6-3.

“It’s nice to kind of put it together this week,” Fritz said.

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

parma ladies open
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PARMA, Italy — The semifinals of the Parma Ladies Open have been postponed by a day and will be played shortly before Saturday’s final.

The decision was made because of persistent rain at the clay-court tournament on Friday.

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari will start on center court against Danka Kovinic at 10:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) on Saturday before sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan’s match against Mayar Sherif.

The final will be after 6 p.m. local time, shortly after the doubles final – with the doubles semifinals also being played earlier in the day on a different court.

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past 97th-ranked Maryna Zanevska 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday at the Parma Ladies Open to reach her first semifinal since the grass-court season.

Sakkari, who has gone three sets in all three of her matches this week, will face Danka Kovinic for a spot in the final of the clay-court event after Kovinic beat Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-4.

In her previous semifinal, Sakkari lost to Belinda Bencic in Berlin in June. The seventh-ranked Greek player was eliminated by Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open on Aug. 31.

In the bottom half of the draw, Mayar Sherif of Egypt beat American opponent Lauren Davis 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach her second career semifinal. Sherif next faces Ana Bogdan, who defeated fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 7-6 (6).