Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz advance to Indian Wells final

ESPN News Services2 minute reading

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Daniil Medvedev defeated Frances Tiafoe 7-5, 7-6 (4) on Saturday for his 19th straight match win of the year and a spot in the BNP Paribas Open final.

Medvedev will play for the title on Sunday against top seed Carlos Alcaraz, who defeated No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Alcaraz needs to win the title on Sunday to reclaim the world No. 1 from Novak Djokovic. The Serbian, a five-time Indian Wells champion, withdrew before the tournament began after he was not allowed to enter the United States because he is unvaccinated against COVID-19.

Medvedev, the fifth seed, continued his dominance over Tiafoe, winning all five of their career meetings, including 12 of 13 sets in the process.

“In general, I played at a very good level, but if I didn’t win this match, I would have nightmares for a long time with all the opportunities I had,” Medvedev said in a televised interview on the pitch after the match. . “Like six or seven match points and twice (I was) serving for the match. But I’m happy to win. Now I can sleep well tonight and prepare for tomorrow.”

Medvedev’s winning streak dates back to his title run in Rotterdam in February. He then won tournaments in Doha and Dubai. Now the 2021 US Open champion and former world No. 1 is in position to add another title.

Medvedev has proved resilient during the 12-day tournament in the Southern California desert. He overcame a badly twisted ankle and a cut thumb in two straight matches to advance to the finals.

Alcaraz has only played Medvedev once, in the second round at Wimbledon in 2021. Medvedev won in three sets. Alcaraz said his biggest concern about the 6-foot-6 Medvedev is his height.

“He’s really, really tall, you know,” said Alcaraz, who is 6 feet. “What can I say? I think he’s just lost a game this year. He’s got a great streak and it’s going to be a really tough challenge for me to play him tomorrow. I’m going to enjoy the final and lets see what happens.”

Last year, Alcaraz won the Miami Open and the US Open. On Sunday, he can win the third of the three major American tournaments. After winning his first Grand Slam title in New York, 19-year-old Alcaraz became the youngest men’s No. 1 in history. He surrendered the No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic in January.

Alcaraz won Saturday because of his first serves (he made 72% of them, compared to 50% for Sinner), creative play and his ability to move Sinner around the court and take control of the pace of the game from his opponent.

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the women’s doubles title with a 6-1, 6-7 (3), 10-7 win over Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil and Laura Siegemund of Germany.

The Czech duo improved to 11-0 this year after winning the Australian Open championship in January. They shared $436,730 in prize money.

ESPN’s Alyssa Roenigk and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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