ATP Indian Wells: Alexander Zverev Upsets Grigor Dimitrov To Advance To Second Week

The one and only other time the pair met, it was a three sets encounter that was won by Grigor Dimitrov. It was a similar story this time around at the BNP Paribas Open.

The young German, Alexander Zverev looked to have the edge over Dimitrov in the early stages in their second round clash as he grabbed the first set. Despite efforts from Dimitrov to level the match, Zverev came back fighting in a tight third set to complete the upset.

Quality Serving From Consistent Zverev Earns Him The First Set

The German serving his way to take the first set | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images
The German serving his way to take the first set | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images

It was an evenly matched first set. Both players gave little room for errors. A total of two break points were faced in the entire set. Zverev faced his in his first service game but fended off well to level the set 1-1.

The German’s serves were top notch after that shaky game as the rest of his service games went by without a hitch. The 18-year-old got his first look on Dimitrov’s serve in the fifth game. The Bulgarian looked nervous and allowed Zverev to capitalize. That one break of serve was all that was needed as Zverev went on to comfortably close out the first set.

Dimitrov Grabs His Chances And Levels The Match

Dimitrov levels the match one set a piece | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Dimitrov levels the match one set a piece | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Dimitrov started the shakier of the two as he had to claw back from facing break points in both his first two service games. The third game was a big test that the Bulgarian managed to pass hitting his way out of trouble as Zverev failed to latch onto any of the four break point opportunities he had.

That big hold seemed to spring life back into the Bulgarian who pushed Zverev in the fourth game and eventually got the break on his third chance. After those two long games, the rest of the set was smooth sailing as a settled Dimitrov grabbed the second set to bring the match to a deciding set.

A Third Set Battle In Which Zverev Has The Last Say

Momentum was with the Bulgarian who got the perfect start in the opening game of the third set breaking Zverev, before opening up a 2-0 lead. Dimitrov could have further extended his lead to 3-0 as errors kept creeping in the young German’s game. Credit had to be given to the resilient Zverev though who came back from 0-40 down to win the game and keep himself in the match.

The Bulgarian seemed in control of the set until the 18-year-old found himself with a break chance in the sixth game. And Zverev broke back to level for 3-3 as Dimitrov could only find the net.  The set progressed on serves with both players looking comfortable and the deciding set looked to be heading for a tie break.

As Dimitrov was serving to stay in the match at 6-5, Zverev was presented with double match points after getting the luck of the net cord. Luck was clearly on the German’s side, as even though Dimitrov saved one match point, there was nothing he could do as the net cord once again favored the 18-year-old. The fantastic battle between the two ending in a brutal manner for the Bulgarian in two hours and 20 minutes.

A jubilant Zverev after his hard fought victory | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images
A jubilant Zverev after his hard fought victory | Photo courtesy of: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Match Statistics

It was high quality display of serving from Zverev who hit 13 aces to Dimitrov’s two. Though Dimitrov had a slightly higher first serve percentage of 67 compared to the German’s 63, Zverev was winning more of his first serve points.

Both were good in fending off break points as the Bulgarian was only able to capitalize two out of 11 chances he had. Zverev too only managed to convert three out of nine opportunities created and in the end it was that one extra break which proved pivotal. 

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