Columbia [US], March 19 (ANI): Russia's Daniil Medvedev stormed into his maiden ATP Masters 1000 event final after defeating Frances Tiafoe of the USA in the semifinal of the ongoing Indian Wells event at California on Saturday.
The Russian went past Tiafoe 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach the final.
The fifth-seed delivered an all-round display to extend his winning streak to 19 matches. Aside from letting seven match points slip and being broken twice while serving, there were little to no blemishes in Medvedev's performance.
The Russian has claimed ATP titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai and the former number one is on verge of becoming the first man to win four titles in five weeks since Andy Murray back in 2016.
"It was crazy at the end," said Medvedev as quoted by ATP.
"I got super tight. I would say that [after] 6-5, 40/0, I think I got tight at deuce when I was like, 'Oh my God, that's a lot of opportunities missed, this could go not well for me'. So I got really tight, [but] I still managed to continue playing good... The ace [on match point] was a relief, I am just really happy that I managed not to lose this match," added the player.
Medvedev was relentless from the baseline for the entire length his one-hour, 47-minute clash.
He had rolled his ankle during his fourth-round win over Alexander Zverev and sustained a cut in his thumb in his quarterfinal win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. He will be facing Carlos Alcaraz of Spain in the final. Medvedev is chasing his fifth Masters 1000 crown, which will also be his first since 2021.
"I am playing better and better I would say. When I rolled my ankle I started playing better on this court," he said.
"They are still not my favourite conditions to play, so that is why also at the end [today] I was struggling probably. On any other court, I could do better with the match points, but we never know. But when you are in the final you cannot complain, so I am looking forward to tomorrow and hope I can play my best tennis," added Medvedev.
Medvedev's serve was extremely vital for his victory as he won 80 per cent (35/44) of his points behind his first delivery. He was able to restrict his opponent's ability to attack freely on return.
In the opening set, Medvedev hit a stunning forehand pass off his toes at 5-5, 30/40. His strokeplay was too much for Tiafoe, who dropped a set for the first time in the tournament.
Medvedev broke Tiafoe once again in the opening game of the second set and made a progression to 5-3. Tiafoe was able to claw back his way into the match and a tie-break was reached, which Medvedev won.
With this, Medvedev improved his ATP Head to Head record against Tiafoe to 5-0. (ANI)