Medvedev reaches Indian Wells semi-finals to extend unbeaten run to 18 matches

Dubai champion beats Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 7-5 and will face Tiafoe for a place in the final

Daniil Medvedev beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to reach the Indian Wells semi-finals and stay on course of a fourth straight title. AP
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Daniil Medvedev extended his clinical unbeaten run, and shook off any lingering effects from a sore ankle, by defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 7-5 to reach the semi-finals at Indian Wells.

Medvedev showed little ill effect from the twisted ankle he suffered in a three-set battle against Alexander Zverev a day earlier as he pushed his winning streak to 18 matches.

The Russian fifth seed booked a semi-final clash with 16th-ranked American Frances Tiafoe, who beat 2021 Indian Wells winner Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4.

Medvedev arrived in the California desert riding high after securing titles at the Rotterdam Open, Qatar Open and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in three successive weeks.

Long a critic of the slow hard courts of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, he was through to the quarters for the first time after hanging on to beat Zverev despite rolling his ankle.

"I'm actually happy the ankle didn't hurt much because when I warmed up it was hurting pretty bad," Medvedev said. "I couldn't move well on the warmup.

"I tried to warm it up as long as possible and take one painkiller so that probably helped and I was actually feeling better and better during the match," added the former US Open champion, who has two days off before he takes on Tiafoe.

Medvedev raced through the opening set, a break of the Spaniard's serve in the second game the only opening he needed as he lost just six points on his serve on the way to pocketing the set in 39 minutes.

It was a different story in the second set on a windy Stadium Court. Davidovich Fokina had a break chance in each of Medvedev's first three service games, only for the Russian to come up with big serves to fend him off.

Along the way Medvedev had another fall on the court, this time scraping his hand and requiring the trainer to bandage his bloody thumb.

"Daniil has been winning many tournaments, many consecutive matches and you can see how solid he is on the court," Davidovich Fokina said.

Frances Tiafoe will face Daniil Medvedev in the Indian Wells semi-finals after beating 2021 champion Cameron Norrie. EPA

"It was a very unpleasant match with the wind," he added. "We both had break chances, he took his chance and I didn't, but the level is there."

Tiafoe, who has reached his first Masters 1000 semi-final without dropping a set, made it clear he's looking further than the final four.

"It's great, but it's the semis," Tiafoe said. "The job's not done."

Tiafoe had broken Norrie twice in the second set to serve for the match at 5-2. He was broken himself, but made no mistake on hs next opportunity as he finished it off with a love game.

"At the end, it got a little tricky, but it was pretty one-way traffic and I am really happy with where my game is at," he said.

The remaining semi-final places will be filled on Thursday when Spanish top seed Carlos Alcaraz faces eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, and defending champion Taylor Fritz takes on Italian 11th seed Jannik Sinner.

Updated: March 16, 2023, 7:28 AM