Federer Up a Set Before the Rains Came, Dimitrov Ousted While Thiem Advances at BNP Paribas Open
(March 10, 2018) INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 3 Gregor Dimitrov was the first major upset on the men’s side of the draw at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday afternoon when Fernando Verdasco beat him 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3.
What made the difference in the match? The Spaniard once ranked No. 7 in the world is currently ranked No. 39 said: “Well, I think that the match kind of, like, went up-and-downs a little bit, at least the two first sets with a break that he made me at the beginning. Then I just break him back just the game after. With 2-1, he broke me. And 3-1, I broke him back.
“And I think that, you know, after that tiebreak, I was just a little bit more solid than him. Close one. Second set I start serving, I think, really bad, actually. Honestly making — I think, if I’m not wrong, in two games two double faults on each one, and giving him the possibility to go 3-0 in the score with two breaks. After that, I broke him once.
“But, you know, after an opponent like this, to come back from two breaks down, actually, for me it was almost impossible. And even like that, I tried. I was — I felt close, but, you know, didn’t been able to come back. He just close the set pretty good.
“And I think that the third set I serve much better than any other two sets. I start serving, like, I think most first serves and actually, like, like harder, like faster.
“And then in the game with 4-3, I think I just made like an unbelievable lob, that backhand down the line, and then he helped me with the double fault, and I been able to break him. And the last game, I also serve really good with two aces to start the game. That give you a little bit of breathe. And with 40-Love, you know, I just — I lost that point. But then with 40-15, I close the match. You know, I felt really good.
“I knew that I just needed to keep pushing hard the serve. Because if I change and I start to put, like, kind of like first, second serves in to try to play with first serve, but then also doesn’t hurting him so much, maybe, you know, he was returning so much, like, on top of the line, if he connect two or three good returns, it was going to be tough. So I just went for it and it went well.
“So, you know, I think that was the key at the end, that at the end of third set I served better than him. So I been able to break him and then close the match with that.”
In another upset, No. 16 Fabio Fognini lost to Jeremy Chardy 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Roger Federer was playing his first match at Indian Wells. He was leading Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 6-3, 2-2 when heavy drizzle forced the matches to be postponed. They will resume on Sunday as the third match on Stadium 1 court.
Delbonis has a 1-0 record against the Swiss.
Fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria hit 10 aces to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. The 24-year-old is leading the ATP World Tour with the most wins at 17-3.
Other seeded men advancing were: No. 7 Kevin Anderson defeated Evgeny Donskoy 7-5, 6-4, No. 12 Tomas Berdych rolled past German Maximilian Marterer 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour.
No. 30 Pablo Cuevas beat up-and-coming Canadian Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (4), 6-3.