Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov exited the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on March 18 after a three-set defeat by Spaniard Tommy Robredo 4-6, 6-1, 5-7.
It was the third time in as many years that Dimitrov was knocked out of the first Masters tournament of the year in the third round and another topsy-turvy performance from the Bulgarian.
Despite serving poorly on the day, putting only 52 per cent of his first service balls in play, Dimitrov kept himself in the match by scoring more winners than his opponent (41 to 18), but he also committed more unforced errors (42 to 23).
Robredo gave his opponent no opportunities to break serve in the first set, while Dimitrov saved four break points before losing one late in the frame. He surged back in the second and dominated the set (despite serving only 39 per cent) to tie the match.
In the third, both players stayed on serve and seemed headed for decisive tie-break, but two back-to-back double faults from Dimitrov gave Robredo two match points and the Spaniard easily converted the first against a demoralised-looking Dimitrov.
The Bulgarian will next play in the Miami Open, which starts on March 25, where he will once again have a first-round bye as a seeded player. Miami is another tournament where Dimitrov has been knocked out in the third round the past two years, but he did make it to the fourth round in 2012.
(Photo: Marianne Bevis/flickr.com)