Dimitrov vs. Youzhny
In almost record breaking heat in the California desert at Indian wells, Grigor Dimitrov made quick work of the savvy Russian veteran, Mikhail Youzhny, in the second round of BNP Paribas Open. Surprisingly this is the first time the two have played and it showed early on with Dimitrov gaining an early break in set one but then getting broken back the very next game. Both players played a lot of slice backhands looking for control in extreme heat, and approaching the net when possible to end points quickly. Neither player dominated, or felt very comfortable on stadium court two, and play was pretty sloppy, marred by unforced errors by both players. At 4-5 in set one, Youzhny's weak second serves and unforced forehand errors gave Grigor the first set 6-4.
Dimitrov took advantage early in set two, breaking the Russian for a 2-0 lead. Serving in game four, Youzhny held a 40-15 lead and squandered it away wit unforced errors and a double fault to give Grigor a second break and an all but insurmountable lead. Grigor then held at love and broke again for a decisive victory, 6-4, 6-0.
These tough early rounds in less than optimum conditions are a test of concentration and conditioning for seeded players to get through to proceed to important, later rounds in week two at this ATP 1000 tournament.
Written by Evan Fabricant
Photos by Dana Gardner
“Bulgaria SEGA” newspaper