For the first time in the Masters 1000 history, four players ranked outside the top-25 reached the semi-final in Indian Wells. Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev failed to prove the status of the favorites, and there were Cameron Norrie, Taylor Fritz, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Grigor Dimitrov fighting in the last four.
In the first semi-final, Norrie defeated Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 26 minutes for his first Masters 1000 final in a career and the 46th victory of the season. The Briton got broken once from two chances offered to the Bulgarian and claimed 45% of the return points to clinch four breaks and seal the deal in style.
They both had more unforced errors than winners, and Cameron forged the advantage in the shortest and most extended exchanges to wrap up the win in straight sets and remain on the title course. Grigor netted a backhand slice to experience a break in the opening game, and Cameron cemented it with a service winner in game two.
Cameron Norrie and Nikoloz Basilashvili will play for the Indian Wells title.
Failing to impose his strokes so far, the Bulgarian netted another backhand slice in the third game to find himself 3-0 down after 12 minutes.
Dimitrov sprayed another backhand mistake in the fourth game before finding some rhythm and pulling one break back at love in game six. Norrie stayed calm, scored another break at 4-2 and closed the opener with a service winner a few minutes later for 6-2 in just over half an hour.
Like the opener, the Bulgarian made a slow start in set number two and sprayed a backhand error on Norrie's fourth break chance to fall behind. Cameron held in game two after deuce and fended off a break chance at 2-1 with a well-constructed serve & forehand combo.
The Bulgarian reached another deuce on the return in game six before the Briton closed it with a forehand down the line winner to stay in front. Dimitrov secured the ninth game following an incredible forehand down the line winner, and Norrie held at love a few minutes later to seal the deal and advance into the most significant final of his career.
In the second semi-final, Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated the crowd's favorite Taylor Fritz 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 41 minutes for the most notable result at this level and his career overall. The Georgian claimed five points more than the American, fending off seven break chances, including three set points in the opener, and delivering one break in set number two to seal the deal and reach the title clash.