BNP Paribas Open Quarterfinal Preview & Picks: How to Bet Norrie vs. Schwartzman, Hurkacz vs. Dimitrov (Oct. 14)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Norrie of Great Britain.
It’s quarterfinals Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, and there are two compelling matches that will kick off the day.
Read on to see why I’m eyeing the first match of the session as a real opportunity for value.
Odds via BetMGM. Match times are subject to change.
Cameron Norrie (+100) vs. Diego Schwartzman (-120)
2:00 p.m. ET
History tells us that when these two take the court, fireworks follow. Each match between Norrie and Schwartzman has gone the distance, with the pair splitting two three-set contests on the ATP Tour before Norrie won a bizarre US Open encounter in 2020.
The Argentinian seemed to be in full control of the match in New York before the screws came loose and Schwartzman fell apart. Norrie took full advantage in a match that featured 58 (!!!) break points and 19 breaks of serve. The prior two matches that featured the duo contained a combined 45 break points as well.
While you can expect a guarantee of frequent break opportunities when they’re on the court, Norrie’s improved serve may actually be the key to this contest. The left-hander has seen significant strides in his consistency on serve this year, winning a tied-for-best season percentage of 64% of his points on serve. He’s also posted the best ace-to-double fault ratio of his career in 2021, hitting 1.8 aces for every double.
Schwartzman is an elite returner, but he hasn’t seen this version of Norrie nor has he played particularly well in this event. He saved match points against Maxime Cressy and was a set and a break down to Dan Evans. Plus, while his recent win against Casper Ruud was wholly impressive, the Norwegian was not playing at his best.
Back Norrie to advance to his first Masters 1000 semifinal and keep his high level present.
The Pick: Norrie ML (+100)
Hubert Hurkacz (-172) vs. Grigor Dimitrov (+142)
3:20 p.m. ET
A battle of two surging players breeds a complex feel to this one. Grigor Dimitrov has seemingly found his best level since the Australian Open, and perhaps he’s even better now. The Bulgarian got his best win in some time yesterday, coming back to defeat the World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev.
Hurkacz has been humming along recently as well, and he displayed that against Aslan Karatsev, who beat the Polish No. 1 just a week ago.
Stylistically, this is an interesting matchup, as Hurkacz will look to dictate with his serve and backhand, while Dimitrov will be content to try and attack on the forehand side and use his athletic ability to let him steal points. He is more capable than Hurkacz of adjusting his game to suit the skill set of an opponent, as Matthew Willis and Gill Gross outlined on Wednesday.
Been a while since the death by a million slices strategy has worked against Medvedev, but we've seen it.
He doesn't love to hit up on his backhand, and certainly will struggle to hit through an opponent with elite speed in slow conditions off low backhands without much pace. https://t.co/8nltyMIkgo
— Gill Gross 😎 (@Gill_Gross) October 13, 2021
Dimitrov did an unbelievable job of adjusting his game to put himself in position for the best chance of victory, and he’ll need to do the same against an in-form Hurkacz.
It’s hard to know what we’re going to get in this matchup, so I don’t feel as though there’s value in the contest. Not to mention the fact that the two haven’t met before, there’s simply too much uncertainty for my liking.
The Pick: No Bet