US Open champ Medvedev stunned by Dimitrov in Indian Wells
Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria returns a shot to Daniil Medvedev of Russia during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.–AFP
Medvedev, who won his first Grand Slam title last month at Flushing Meadows, hadn't lost a set heading into the fourth round but dropped eight straight games against Dimitrov en route to a stunning early exit for the top seed.
World No. 2 Medvedev did not take a break after his emotional US Open victory and said his busy schedule may have finally caught up to him.
"I did feel exhausted in this tournament. Now I can say it. I couldn't say it before my matches. There are a few physical things that have come up," said Medvedev, who is hoping to eventually overtake Novak Djokovic for number one in the world.
Medvedev won the first set, was up 4-1 in the second and appeared to be cruising to another easy victory when the wheels came off -- his unforced errors mounting and service game falling flat.
"If he plays like this, like the way he played me from 4-1, then he is going to win the tournament," Medvedev said. "He played the second half of the match better than anyone did against me at the US Open. It is not like I gave him the match."
The Bulgarian closed out the match on the first match point when Medvedev blasted a forehand long.
"Everything came through. That's great," said Dimitrov.
Dimitrov will face Polish eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz, who rolled over Russian Aslan Karatsev 6-1, 6-3 earlier on Wednesday, in the quarter-finals.
- Minor setback -
The 25-year-old Medvedev beat Djokovic in the US Open final last month to prevent the Serb star from becoming the first man since the legendary Rod Laver in the 1960s to win all four Grand Slams in the same year.
Medvedev made six double faults and had his serve broken six times in the two hour, 15 minute match in the main stadium.
Medvedev, who has won 50 matches in 2021, described this as a minor setback because this event is not a Grand Slam.
"I don't see this as the end of the world. I don't think this would happen in a Grand Slam. There are some small points I could have done better," he said.
In other men's matches on Wednesday, Argentina's Diego Schwartzman defeated Casper Ruud of Norway 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarters.