Grigor Dimitrov, Jannik Sinner reach Miami Open final

League: Tennis

Posted on: 30 Mar, 2024 at 03:09 AM

Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov is headed back to the world's top 10 for the first time in more than five years after upsetting fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in the semifinals of the Miami Open on Friday in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Dimitrov, the 11th seed, will oppose second-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy in the final on Sunday. Sinner demolished third-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-1, 6-2 on Friday.

Dimitrov, 32, reached a career-high ranking of No. 3 in November 2017, but he hadn't been in the top 10 since November 2018. His gap between top-10 ratings is the third longest in ATP Tour history.

"I fight my own battles right now. I run my own race," Dimitrov said. "I think all that comes with all the work that we have put in as a team. I'm on a very different path in my life, in my career. There's a lot that was done, a lot of work, a lot of everything behind it. I kept on believing, I kept on thriving, I kept on having faith in myself. ... This is just the cherry on the cake."

Dimitrov prevailed against Zverev thanks in part to a ground game that produced a 45-24 edge in winners. Zverev also never managed to break the serve of Dimitrov, who took advantage of his only two break points, one each in the first and third sets.

"It was like a dogfight on both ends," Dimitrov said. "I think we really went at each other, especially after that first set, I felt like he upped his game a little bit and he was very, very strong throughout the whole second set and even in the tiebreak. He was constantly putting a lot of pressure on me.

"And then in the third set, he had one (break) chance. I served good and then I stayed and I kept on going after my shots. I think in the end, I played with a little bit more authority and was moving the ball very well."

Sinner didn't have to work nearly as hard in his semifinal, prevailing in 69 minutes. He won 80 percent of his first-serve points, saved all three break points he faced and converted four of his nine break opportunities.

"I felt great on court today. Usually the more you go on in a tournament, the more comfortable I feel," said Sinner, who won the Australian Open in January and added a tournament title at Rotterdam, Netherlands, in February. "I'm very happy with this performance."

--Field Level Media