The semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells will be a historic occasion.
It will be the first time in ATP Masters 1000 history (280 events since 1990) that the last four has not featured any players inside the top 25 in the world.
New British No 1 Cameron Norrie is the highest-ranked semi-finalist as world No 26, just ahead of his last-four opponent world No 28 Grigor Dimitrov. World No 36 Nikoloz Basilashvili and world No 39 Taylor Fritz will play in the second semi-final after recording upset wins over world No 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas and world No 4 Alexander Zverev respectively.
Indian Wells
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As the most prestigious tournaments on the calendar behind Grand Slams, Masters semi-finals have rarely not featured at least one of the world’s best players. The closest previous instance of a Masters event without a top-25 player in the semi-finals was Monte Carlo in 1992 when Aaron Krickstein (world No 24), Goran Prpic (world No 33), Thomas Muster (world No 37) and Arnaud Boetsch (world No 54) made the last four.
But in a potential sign of the changing times, this is also the second Masters 1000 of the season – along with Miami – to feature three players making their debuts at this stage of the tournament. Only Dimitrov has previously made a Masters 1000 semi-final.
Norrie will be aiming to boost his chances of a spot at the season-ending ATP Finals.
If he wins the title he will be 125 points in the Race to Turin standings behind Hubert Hurkacz, who currently occupies the last qualifying spot, with eighth-placed Rafael Nadal not competing due to a foot injury. He has a 1-0 head-to-head record against Dimitrov after beating him in straight sets in the second round of the Miami Open earlier this year.
Dimitrov, who is appearing in his first Masters 1000 semi-final since Paris in 2019, recorded his 100th Masters victory by beating Hurkacz in the quarter-finals.
“Really I’m very humbled,” said the Bulgarian, who won his only Masters title in Cincinnati in 2017.

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“It’s such an amazing thing. I’m so thankful to everyone, to everybody that is in the team, that has worked in the team. Last but not least my family. It feels like I want to say surreal because I never thought turning pro that I’m going to have let’s say a hundred matches at such a level.
“I’m very fortunate to be able to put myself in that position over and over, especially throughout the tough years, injuries and so on. It clearly means a lot to me. I really appreciate it. I’m very, very humbled on it. Like I’m smiling inside. I’m smiling inside. I think it’s a beautiful thing. I’ll keep on going hopefully another decade.”
Fritz is enjoying an impressive run, having beaten Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner before saving match points to overcome Zverev. The 23-year-old is into his fifth semi-final of the season, but he is yet to reach a final. Fritz and Basilashvili had just five combined Masters 1000 wins for the season before Indian Wells.
Fritz, who said the shock victory over Zverev was the “best win” of his career, will be bidding to become the first American man since Andre Agassi in 2001 to win Indian Wells.
"Yeah, I mean, I'm just taking it one match at a time,” he said.
“But it would be huge for me, huge for American tennis if I could win. But like I said, just one match at a time like I've been doing. That's how I got here. Just focused on tomorrow, and then we'll think about the rest later."
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