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Indian Wells: Dimitrov, Norrie battle for final spot as Jabeur makes history

By Tobi Awodipe
16 October 2021   |   2:42 am
New British World number one, Cameron Norrie, yesterday, booked his place in the ongoing Indian Wells tournament semifinals with an impressive straight-sets win against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman

Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria celebrates victory over Hubert Hurkacz of Poland after their quarterfinal men’s singles match at the Indian Wells tennis tournament on October 14, 2021 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

New British World number one, Cameron Norrie, yesterday, booked his place in the ongoing Indian Wells tournament semifinals with an impressive straight-sets win against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman. He will meet Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals.

The 26-year-old Brit, who has always struggled for form, has been excellent recently, making the finals of San Diego Open earlier this month and reaching the business end of a Masters 1000 event for the first time, battling past Tommy Paul in three sets. Winning 6-0, 6-2 in a little over an hour, he would replace Dan Evans as the British no1 on Monday when the new rankings are released.

His opponent, Dimitrov, is enjoying his best season so far after beating world number two and reigning USO champion, Daniil Medvedev, in a match many didn’t expect him to take. Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, he was quickly again in trouble against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who easily took the first set. Following a late break in the second, Dimitrov forced a decider but failed to serve for the match at 5-3 in the third and so, the winner had to be decided in a tiebreak.

Putting himself in control in the tiebreak, he eventually closed it out 3-6 6-4 7-6(2) in a gripping contest that lasted almost three hours.

Basilashvili, Tsisipas, Fritz and Zverev would battle for two spots in the semis today against tomorrow’s finals.

Meanwhile, Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur sealed her place in the BNP Paribas Open’s final four with a straight-set victory over Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in Indian Wells. It was also a history-making result for Jabeur, as the victory guarantees her the honour of being the first African woman and first Arab man or woman to earn a top 10 singles ranking.

“I know I deserve this place but I want to prove that I deserve to be here. I deserve to be one of the top 10 players. There are a lot of things that I need to improve. I’m very happy but I’m still in the competition so I’m trying to calm down and not overthink about the top 10.

“Probably, we will celebrate after the tournament. I just believed in myself, I worked hard, and this is just the beginning of great things,” she said.

She will face Paula Badosa in the semifinals for a spot in the finals after the latter upset German 10th seed, Angelique Kerber, in straight sets yesterday.