Grigor Dimitrov seems at ease on the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters clay court. On Friday, the Bulgarian retained his cool to win a tense final set in a tie-break and defeat Hubert Hurkacz to reach the ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals for the second time. In the midst of a strong comeback from 11th seed Hurkacz, the World No. 29 fought back to win 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) and go to his sixth Masters 1000 semi-final.
For an ecstatic audience on Court Rainier III, Dimitrov showed hallmark moments of brilliance, but he was just as willing to perform the heavy work against an opponent who rediscovered his range in the second and third sets. The victory follows Dimitrov’s remarkable third-round victory against a clay-court opponent.
The victory follows Dimitrov’s spectacular third-round victory against Casper Ruud, a clay-court tour de force. After defeating Taylor Fritz 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 earlier on Friday, he will face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the semi-finals to try to reach his third Masters 1000 title match.
Grigor Dimitrov and his journey ahead
When asked about his win against Hurkacz and his performance he said, ” I don’t think about it, I really don’t. I’m just going one day at a time, I’ve been putting to work that’s all I have done. I’m not even thinking of how I’m playing or anything like that. You have got to be ready for certain events”
He further adds, ” And of course, if I had lost the match it would have been disappointing, but at the same time I wouldn’t be too down on myself cause I have been doing the right things”
Hurkacz had good wins against famed dirt ballers Pedro Martinez and Albert Ramos-Vinolas coming into the match, but the Pole struggled to relax in the opening set against Dimitrov. The Bulgarian took full advantage, effectively dragging his opponent around the court and clinching the set’s lone break to love in the third game.
No. 11 in the world In the second frame, Hurkacz discovered a far higher level. The Pole went up 4-2 in the set and finished it with a series of drop strokes that caught his opponent by surprise. In a difficult deciding set, neither player surrendered an inch, as the duo traded breaks twice, but Dimitrov found something more at the end.
The pair’s only prior tour-level meeting was a Masters 1000 quarter-final decided by a final-set tie-break at the 2021 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, with Dimitrov winning that match as well. Dimitrov now has a 20-8 record at the Monte Carlo tournament. Rafael Nadal, the 11-time winner, has beaten him four times in the Principality. Dimitrov should recover a position in the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings on Monday if he makes it to the final, with the former World No. 3 already expected to ascend to No. 23 after his win against Hurkacz.
The Bulgarian will next face Spanish player Alejandro Davidovich Fokina who beat American Taylor Fritz in the semi-finals on the 16th of April.