Despite some difficulties to conclude, Daniil Medvedev took the best in two sets on Frances Tiafoe to sign a 19th consecutive victory in the first semi-final of the Indian Wells Masters 1000.
Daniil Medvedev is decidedly impregnable at the start of the season. Apart from Novak Djokovic in Adelaide then Sebastian Korda at the Australian Open, no one could emerge victorious from a duel with the world number 6. The Russian thus took advantage of his semi-final of the Indian Wells Masters 1000 against Frances Tiafoe to chain a 19th consecutive victory and move closer to a success of a fourth rank title on the circuit. A semi-final which started with a real standoff between the two players, with the first four games far from being snagged.
It was then that Daniil Medvedev pushed the American back to get three break points. Driven by a public won over to his cause, the 16th in the world ruled out these three opportunities for his opponent one by one before holding his face-off in extremis. From then on, the exchanges were again balanced and the service games won white are chained together. Nevertheless, it was the Russian who ended up making the difference. With the approach of the decisive game, Frances Tiafoe was less serene about his commitment, which the seeded number 5 in California was able to take advantage of.
The fourth break point was good for Daniil Medvedev, who wasted no time to win the first set on a service game won white. Back to the wall because led a round to nothing, Frances Tiafoe saw her situation become even more complicated from the conclusion of the first game of the second.
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Medvedev struggled to conclude
In effect, it was from the start that Daniil Medvedev took the upper hand over an opponent who had never beaten him in their first four confrontations on the ATP circuit. The first opportunity to take Frances Tiafoe’s serve was good for the Russian, who then raced in the lead. An advantage that could have grown after the fifth game, but the American was able to save two double break points before missing the opportunity to come back up in stride.
It was when concluding that Daniil Medvedev began to lose his means. Indeed, from the ninth game, the world number 6 missed three first match points on the service of Frances Tiafoe then lost his break in advance. The Russian then saw his opponent experience an air pocket at the worst time and again concede his service on a shutout. Daniil Medvedev was thus offered the opportunity to conclude on his commitment… but four new match points did nothing.
After holding on against an opponent struggling to seal the fate of the match, the American was opportunistic to snatch a decisive game. But, if he won the first point on his commitment, the world number 16 lost the next five exchanges. Raising her head, Frances Tiafoe erased one of her two late “mini-breaks” but the damage was already done. Ihe first chance to finish in this tiebreak was the right one for Daniil Medvedev (7-5, 7-6 in 1h48′)who will find Carlos Alcaraz or Jannik Sinner this Sunday for the title.