A sublime Dimitrov surprises Alcaraz in Miami

The Bulgarian has won the last two games against the Spanish

March 29, 2024

Al Bello/Getty Images

By Staff

Tennis is a sport of moments and, also, of days, and Grigor Dimitrov had a day to remember and erased Carlos Alcarazde’s chances of completing the ‘Sunshine Double’ this Thursday at the Miami Open presented by Itau, after losing to the first seed by 6-2 and 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

The Bulgarian excelled from start to finish: he maintained his aggressiveness and variety and sustained the physical challenge to defeat the Indian Wells champion, who had a streak of nine consecutive victories.

The 11th seed raced to a 3-0 lead and barely looked back, breaking Alcaraz at 4-5 in the second set, to improve to 2-3 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with the world No. 2. Dimitrov, who beat the Spaniard in Shanghai last October, has won the last two meetings against the Wimbledon champion.

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“I think, in general, to win against him you have to play your best, that’s just the way it is,” Dimitrov said. “I entered the game very focused and I think I was very clear about what I had to do.

“Sometimes simplicity is genius. It’s very, very difficult to do it, especially when you play against an opponent like that, but I was really able to dictate the game, to read the game a little better than the last time. Overall, I think “It was a great match on my part and I’m glad we finished in straight sets.”

With celebrities like Mike Tyson and Jimmy Butler in attendance, the 32-year-old hit the ball with superb ease while maintaining a tight position on the court and redirecting the ball with ease, even with several winning returns from Alcaraz’s serves.

Dimitrov led by 6-2 and 4-1, and had the opportunity to achieve a double break, but was forced to hold off a comeback from Alcaraz, who went from 1-4 to 4-4 in a few minutes.

Dimitrov thus reaches the semi-finals in Miami for the first time and has reached the semi-finals in eight of the nine ATP Masters 1000 tournaments. Friday’s clash against fourth seed Alexander Zverev will mark Dimitrov’s fourth semi-final in 2024.

Alcaraz, 20, is now 15-4 on the season, and was aiming to match his Miami semifinal finish from last year and become the first player to reach three consecutive semifinals in South Florida since Novak Djokovic in 2014-16.

Did you know…?
The Bulgarian’s move to the semi-finals comes with bad news in terms of the PIF ATP Rankings for the Spaniard, who could drop to No. 3 in the world if Jannik Sinner, already in the semi-finals, wins the title.


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