It is strange to see the dispute of a tennis semifinal, where the expectations have not been covered by its protagonists; this in relation to the surprise factor that has captured the attention in this atypical Masters tournament at Indian Wells. The initial approach was that of an uncertain match, due to the causality of a rarely seen confrontation, between the British Cameron Norrie and the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (who has become a sensation) due to his recent good results. However, today's afternoon had another uncertain match development; those of us who were expecting another technical display from Grigor, were left astonished, without reaction or results. We were just waiting and that's all.
On the part of Cameron, it is totally applaudable his progress, since he was constant in the search of the result in his favor. But on the other hand, it was remarkable the lack of competitiveness at the height of the moment, that is to say, the exaggerated incursion of unforced errors by the Haskovo-born, took away the showiness and excitement of the match. The fact that he gave up 3 breaks in the first set speaks for itself, with an unusual amount of mistakes, makes me think that it was the consequence of a bad afternoon for the Bulgarian. It was not that he remained static, because he certainly tried, at the end of which he was able to recover a break in the sixth game, but the left-handed San Diego finalist was relentless with his strong serve to the "T" and won the first set in just 33 minutes.
Of course I was looking forward to the Bulgarian's recovery, it was not possible that the player who had the luxury of beating Reilly, Daniil and Hubert, was without weapons to stay in competition; but definitely every match is different. At the beginning of the second set I seemed to see a Dejavu, because Cameron again broke the first service and hit that parallel forehand with aesthetics and efficiency; both were not doing very well the climbs to the net, but the worst part was taken by Grigor, who seemed to have glue on the string of his racket. In addition, his reverse forehand was not entering the lines either; the game became a nightmare for Dimitrov who needed to force a third set, but this would not happen.
Norrie has exhibited such confidence, which has given him time to settle in to execute his shots, then I have seen him better footwork than his rival. That has been key for the Briton, his speed has been decisive; even though it did not accompany him two weeks ago and Casper ran over him (Literally). So, if Cameron Norrie's physical memory stays with him on the court, it is likely to see a much more exciting final. Grigor tried but it was too late, because Norrie signed his match in 1 hour and 28 minutes. This semifinal has been indebted to the public but it is already part of the history of this edition of the Californian tournament. Now we see Cameron in a new final, which shows his good sporting moment. However, in front of him, there will be a player who was extremely offensive today, hitting his winning shots with ease and determination.
Cameron Norrie versus Nikoloz Basilashvili, It will be an interesting final, the British in his condition of left-handed has won the only confrontation between them and it was this year in the hard court of Rotterdam, seven months ago, with the difference that the Georgian has won the two finals he has played, while the South African born has reached his fifth final, with only 1 title (Los Cabos - Mexico), we will see if Norrie gets his second trophy or is Nikoloz who will lift his third this year. Although I am not used to do it, I will give my prediction in favor of the Georgian, since according to what I have seen of him has been a game loaded to the offensive, with a well controlled backhand, better handling of the change of pace (to dislocate his rivals) and a very fine drop shot. Barring a cataclysm, Basilashvili will lift his first Masters tournament.
See you next time!
The opinion in this publication is of a personal nature on the part of the author.
The text has been translated with Deepl in its free version.