Match Report

Dimitrov Holds 'Stop Sign' To Hurkacz's Turin Hopes

Bulgarian to face Tsitsipas or Khachanov in last four
November 03, 2023
Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Grigor Dimitrov in action against Hubert Hurkacz on Friday at the Rolex Paris Masters. By ATP Staff

Grigor Dimitrov’s late-season charge shows no sign of abating at the Rolex Paris Masters.

The Bulgarian held his nerve for a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 triumph against Hubert Hurkacz on Friday to book a semi-final spot at the indoor ATP Masters 1000 event. Dimitrov capitalised on a slow start from the 11th-seeded Hurkacz to race to the opening set at Accor Arena, before staying consistent in the decider to reach the semi-finals in Paris-Bercy for the second time.

“My body is feeling well for now, that’s the most important thing,” said Dimitrov, who also upset third seed Daniil Medvedev this week in Paris. “My head is good. If I’m able to play like that on a consistent basis throughout every game, I put myself in a position to do better.

“Today was no different. A completely different opponent again. Every day you have to adapt, and I’ve been able to do so these four or five days.”

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Hurkacz struggled to find his rhythm in the first set but fired eight aces in each of the second and third sets as he threatened a comeback victory on Court Central. A break in the seventh game of the decider ultimately proved enough for Dimitrov to clinch a victory in which he clinically converted both break points he earned.

“I became like a stop sign,” joked Dimitrov. “He caught on fire definitely with the serves. I knew what to expect against him, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to get a break. After the fifth or sixth game in the second set, I was just kind of guessing, but my guesses were all wrong.

“I had to stay very focused and every time I had the opportunity to get into a rally, I had to do something. A few points made a huge difference today.”

With his 94-minute triumph, Dimitrov reached 40 tour-level wins in a season for the first time since 2017, which is also the year he last lifted an ATP Tour crown at the Nitto ATP Finals. The 32-year-old will take on seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or 16th seed Karen Khachanov in the last four in Paris.

Friday's defeat ended Hurkacz's hopes of claiming a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals this year. He remains ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, but cannot now finish inside the top eight to secure a qualification berth at the prestigious season finale.

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