Daniil Medvedev was on Wednesday knocked out in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, by Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, as the world No. 2’s near-flawless start turned nightmarish in a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 defeat.
Medvedev broke Dimitrov’s serve to open the match, easing through a near-perfect first set in which he won all but four of his first-serve points and fired off three aces with just five unforced errors.
The Russian, who last month won his maiden major title at the US Open, was up two breaks in the second set and seemingly on track for an easy victory.
However, Dimitrov came roaring back, winning five straight games to wrest control of the momentum as Medvedev unraveled, converting on break point to close out the second set, before winning another three straight games to open the third set.
“Little by little, I was just trying to stay in the game, stay in the moment, and really fight through every opportunity I had. I really had to go for it,” Dimitrov said after the match.
Down 15-40 and 4-1, Medvedev missed a first serve and flung his racket to the ground, before doublefaulting and handing Dimitrov the break.
Medvedev broke back and then held serve, but it was too late, as the world No. 28 completed the stunning comeback in the following game, before thrusting his arms aloft in triumph.
“I really wanted to play this match, to be completely honest. I think what he has been able to accomplish this past, like, year and a half is pretty amazing. I think it really pushes me also to do better,” Dimitrov told reporters.
Medvedev, who picked up his fourth Masters 1000 title earlier this year in Toronto, told reporters that he struggled to control the ball, particularly on the first serve, and said that he was growing tired just as Dimitrov “flipped the switch.”
Dimitrov has now recorded two wins against Medvedev.