the russian Daniel Medvedevsixth in the world ranking, classified the indian wells end, first Masters 1000 tournament of the season, winning 7-5, 7-6(4) against the American Frances Tiafoe. Her rival for the Californian crown will be the winner of the Semifinal between the Spanish Carlos Alcaraz and the italian Jannik Sinner.
Medvedev adds 19 consecutive matches won and three tournaments won in a row this season.
The Russian dominated the match solidly but had many problems in the outcome to put the finishing touch on his triumph as an inexhaustible Tiafoe saved seven match points.
“If I hadn’t won this match I would have had nightmares for a long time”he was ironic on the track and after the match about the match balls that he could not seal.
Later, he added with a smile.
But I am very happy to have won. Now I can sleep well tonight and prepare for tomorrow.
This match, played in the midday heat on a practically packed center court in Indian Wells, marked Tiafoe’s first Masters 1000 Semi-Final, well supported from the stands by a dedicated crowd with the only American left in the competition.
Tiafoe, number 16 in the world, had not conceded a set in this edition of the Californian contest. But he had a rival in front of him who is especially bad at it since Medvedev had scored all four games between them so far.
In any case, the young American started the match with conviction from serve, taking his powerful forehand for a walk and boldly going to the net.
He also had the necessary calm to solve a tricky moment with 0-40 and 2-2, a mess from which he emerged with five consecutive points.
With enormous authority and serenity, Medvedev solved his serving turns on the fast track and without offering his opponent any opportunity.
But when it seemed that the set was going to the ‘tie break’Tiafoe, with some errors at the least opportune moment, conceded a service break to make it 6-5 and Medvedev took advantage of that gift to win the first set.
This blow took its toll on Tiafoe, who lost the serve as soon as the second set began and saw the match increasingly uphill.
By contrast, the rock-hard Medvedev continued to appear extremely reliable and impenetrable.
So much so that Tiafoe had his cousin ball of ‘break’ of the whole afternoon already in the second set and with 3-2 against, but Medvedev solved it with a good second serve and continued commanding in the duel.
However, his first moment of weakness came when he least expected it.
Medvedev wasted three match points to the rest and, with 5-4 in his favor and serving to close the match, he ended up losing his serve for the first time in the match with a double fault (5-5).
It was now or never for Tiafoe but right after he lost his serve with a loveless game (6-5).
Against the ropes, the American returned to throw epic and survived four more balls of match to get a new break and force the ‘tie break’ among the madness of his fans.
Eventually, Medvedev recovered the beefier version of his serve and Tiafoe ended up bowing to the fittest player on the planet right now.
After being crowned in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai, Medvedev will play his first Indian Wells Final this Sunday and will also have the option of winning his fourth consecutive tournament in five weeks of competition, something that no one in the ATP has achieved since andy murray in 2016 (Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris).
(With information from EFE)