BNP Paribas Open Semifinal Tennis Picks: Best Bet for Norrie vs. Dimitrov & Basilashvili vs. Fritz (Oct. 16)
Sean Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Nikoloz Basilashvili hits a forehand at the BNP Paribas Open.
They’re not the semifinal matchups many projected at the beginning of the BNP Paribas Open, but the Indian Wells Tennis Garden will be home to two intriguing Saturday matchups.
American Taylor Fritz will take on Nikoloz Basilashvili, while Grigor Dimitrov will battle Cameron Norrie for spots in the final American Masters 1000 match of the year.
Read on to see how I view the contests.
Match times are subject to change.
Grigor Dimitrov (-110) vs. Cameron Norrie (-110)
4:30 p.m. ET
Prior to the start of the year, a Grigor Dimitrov vs. Cam Norrie Masters 1000 semifinal would’ve been a remarkably bold call, but with the form that these two are in, it isn’t all that shocking.
Norrie enters the match with a chance to put his breakout player of the year candidate status one step closer to a whole new level. The freshly crowned British number one has a whopping four finals on the ATP Tour this year and a title in Los Cabos, but none have been at the Masters 1000 level.
Dimitrov has struggled throughout 2021, with his best event prior to this fall being the Australian Open that was held in February. The Bulgarian has battled injuries and struggles with his form, but he has peaked in recent weeks. In San Diego, he reached the semifinals and at Indian Wells he has matched that result.
Dimitrov's magic is back in the desert! ✨
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) October 14, 2021
While Norrie opened the event at 66-1 and Dimitrov at 100-1 (per Bet365), each has a chance to put themselves in position to overcome their long odds.
This match projects as a tight one that will be played on the ground without a heavy influence of serving. In a 6-2, 6-0 win over Diego Schwartzman, Norrie didn’t hit a single ace. Against Hubert Hurkacz, Dimitrov did the same. But both won 79% and 91% of the points behind their first serve respectively, showing how each player has been efficient in crafting points.
After beating Daniil Medvedev a match earlier, the number two player in the world stated that when playing like this, Dimitrov could beat anyone.
Medvedev with some takes at the presser.
"I've never been broken 3 consecutive times on hardcourts before. This shows how slow the courts are. Like clay".
"Dimitrov played better than any of my opponents at the USO. He will win Indian Wells playing like this".
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) October 14, 2021
Well, I believe that it’s time for Dimitrov to come back down to earth. The Bulgarian played back-to-back, grueling three-set matches, and against Norrie he’ll have to grind just as hard as he did in the first two. With Norrie coming off of a match in which he only played 14 games, he’ll be far fresher and ready to engage in long rallies all match.
With each player at a very similar level, getting the individual that has spent significantly less time on the court at an even price is a solid value opportunity.
Pick: Cameron Norrie (-110) via PointsBet
Taylor Fritz (-180) vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili (+146)
5:50 p.m. ET
In the second semifinal, two ball strikers will take the court. While Dimitrov and Norrie will play a style of tennis more suited to patience and extended rallies, Fritz and Basilashvili will be doing the opposite.
The Georgian Basilashvili strikes the ball as hard as anyone on the ATP Tour, and Fritz has been doing just the same this week. It was evident that Fritz was in good form after wins against Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner, but his best performance came in the quarterfinals against Alexander Zverev.
Only Novak Djokovic had beaten the world No. 4 since Wimbledon, but that changed when Fritz mounted an incredible comeback, recovering from 2-5 in the third set to win in a tiebreak. Basilashvili found an impressive victory of his own against Stefanos Tsitsipas, but with the form that Zverev was in, Fritz’s triumph shocked the tennis world.
Each player will be supremely confident heading into the matchup, and rightly so. Though Basilashvili leads the H2H, 2-1, the pair have split their matchups on the year, and it’s tough to project anything but a close contest in California.
The price reflects that and appears to be well set by oddsmakers, who give the slight edge to Fritz. After taking out the most in-form player on tour behind Daniil Medvedev he might deserve it, but Basilashvili poses a similar test and at +146 you can get him at a phenomenal price in a true Pick’em contest.
Play the percentages and go with Basilashvili to reach the final.
Pick: Nikoloz Basilashvili +146 via PointsBet