Mar 18, 2022; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Andrey Rublev (RUS) hits a shot during his quarterfinal match defeating Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2022

(Reuters) – World number seven Andrey Rublev needed only 90 minutes to defeat Grigor Dimitrov 7-5 6-2 and reach the last four at Indian Wells with his 13th consecutive victory.

The Dubai champion benefited from some poor serving by his Bulgarian opponent, who had five double faults and was broken four times after having previously lost his serve once at this year’s tournament.

Rublev was not at his best and struggled to close out the first set, being broken to love as Dimitorv levelled at 5-5, which led the intense Russian to drop his racket and loudly vent his frustration to the players’ box.

But he regrouped to break back in the next game and fired his fourth ace to take the first set.

Rublev struggled again near the finish line, letting a match point slip away on Dimitrov’s serve at 5-1 and then facing a break point on his own serve at 5-2.

But he once again righted the ship and sealed the win when Dimitrov sent a service return long on match point.

Rublev said in an on-court interview: “I knew I had to serve well because of the way he plays from the baseline, the way he moves, the way he plays with the forehand. It was going to be really tough if I played a bit passive.

“I had to be aggressive because I knew it would come down to who would be the first one to start to dictate play.”

Rublev will face either Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic or American Taylor Fritz on Saturday for a spot in the final of the Masters 1000 tournament in the California desert.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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