(Reuters) – Daniil Medvedev beat Frances Tiafoe 7-5 7-6(4) on Saturday to secure a place in his first Indian Wells final where he will face either top seed Carlos Alcaraz or Italy’s Jannik Sinner.
The victory extended what has been an impressive run for the red-hot Russian, who has won 19 consecutive matches and is one victory away from adding another title to the ones he collected in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai over the last month.
The fifth-seeded Russian had a glorious opportunity to grab an early break until Tiafoe, who entered the match having not dropped a set in Indian Wells, impressively stormed back from 0-40 in the fifth game of the opening set to hold serve.
But Medvedev made the most of his next break point when he desperately swatted the ball from near his toes from where it clipped the net cord and dropped inside the line to pull ahead 6-5 before going on to serve out at love to take the set.
Medvedev then struck an unbelievable forehand pass down the line to break Tiafoe in the opening game of the second set and five games later turned aside the first break point he faced all day and grabbed what looked to be a comfortable 4-2 lead.
But Tiafoe did well to save three match points on serve to pull within 4-5 and then levelled the set a game later when Medvedev double-faulted on the second break point he faced.
Medvedev, who came to Indian Wells looking to capture his fifth ATP Masters 1000 title, responded quickly with a break at love but Tiafoe struck back and turned aside another four match points to force the tiebreaker.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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