Grigor Dimitrov didn’t let a little thing such as likely pulling off the biggest win of in his last several years over Carlos Alcaraz in the fourth round of the Shanghai Masters derail him from simply overpowering Nicolas Jarry in the quarterfinals on Friday. After years of being hurt or inconsistent, Dimitrov is now playing some of the best tennis of his career. And he has a real chance of winning the Shangai Masters.
Against Jarry and Jarry’s huge serve, Dimitrov remained calm and didn’t get rattled in the first set when he could not do much with Jarry’s serve. Not that there is anything wrong with that as Jarry had not dropped only one service game all tournament until he played Dimitrov. But Dimitrov broke through in the seventh game of the second set and all he needed to do was hold serve of his own.
Dimitrov’s biggest assets have always been his fluid movement around the court and his exceptional hand skills. Because of his injuries, his ability to get to balls has been diminished. But now healthy again, the 32-year-old Dimitrov looks like his 27-year-old self. In fact, the last time he was ranked near the top 10 on the ATP tour was in late 2018. But if he can win the Shanghai Masters, Dimitrov will move to the number 11 ranking.
Dimitrov and Rublev win the quarterfinal matches at the Shanghai Masters
The Bulgarian hasn’t won a title since 2017. His only Masters 1000 victory came in 2017 in Cincinnati. But he’s certainly playing as well as anyone else at the Shanghai Masters currently.
In Friday’s other quarterfinal match, Andrey Rublev dominated the first set against Ugo Humbert 6-2. Everything Rublev seemed to be trying to do was working, from his powerful backhand down the line to his cross-court forehands. He also broke Humbert twice which is not an easy feat as Humbert best ability as a player is his serve.
Rublev stumbled early in the second set and had his own serve broken but he righted his proverbial ship, broke Humbert three times and ended up taking the match 6-2 6-3. Rublev finished with 17 winners versus just 7 unforced errors.
Rublev and Dimitrov will play each other in one semifinal on Saturday in what should be must-watch tennis. The Shanghai Masters’s other semi will feature Hubert Hurkacz versus Sebastian Korda.