Top ATP talents Grigor Dimitrov and Ernests Gulbis will meet for the third time in four weeks on the professional tour, when they cross paths in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open tomorrow afternoon. With the head-to-head series is currently tied at 1-1, this rubber match will determine who will take the lead and advance to the fourth round in Indian Wells.
Following his loss to Gulbis in Rotterdam, Grigor Dimitrov avenged the loss with a fantastic win over the Latvian in Acapulco, before furthering his achievements with a victory over British No. 1 Andy Murray, and then a title win the following day. The No. 15 seed earned a straight sets victory in his opening match in the California Desert, defeating Robin Haase 6-4, 6-3 to set up the third encounter with Gulbis.
“Gulbis, we all know how he plays”. Dimitrov told reporters following his third round match. “We all know how I play. We are not going to have any hidden ways when we come on court. So it’s going to be us two out there, great battle, and hopefully we can produce some great tennis.”
Ernests Gulbis took to court before Dimitrov’s match, where he dispatched of Portuguese standout Joao Sousa in straight sets to arrive at the fourth round in Indian Wells.
This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with the series tied at 1-1. Gulbis won their first meeting in the Rotterdam second round, while Dimitrov avenged the loss in a thrilling quarter-final battle that spanned two hours and 40 minutes last week in the Mexican Open. With momentum on his side, Dimitrov should hold a slight edge heading into the third encounter, and will likely win another gruelling three set encounter.
Prediction: Grigor Dimitrov in Three Sets