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No. 1-Chasing Alcaraz Aims To Snap Medvedev’s Streak In Indian Wells Final

  • Posted: Mar 19, 2023

No. 1-Chasing Alcaraz Aims To Snap Medvedev’s Streak In Indian Wells Final

First-time champion to be crowned on Sunday at ATP Masters 1000 event

Carlos Alcaraz’s bid to return to World No. 1 collides with Daniil Medvedev’s 19-match winning streak on Sunday in a blockbuster final at the 2023 BNP Paribas Open. (Watch the final from 12am CET/7pm ET)

The pair may be first-time finalists at the opening ATP Masters 1000 event of the year, but their respective runs to this year’s championship match can hardly be considered a surprise.

After the start of his season was delayed until February due to injury, Alcaraz has racked up a 13-1 record for 2023 and is yet to drop a set in Indian Wells. If the 19-year-old defeats Medvedev, he will leapfrog Novak Djokovic to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since January. A major motivation, but not one that will distract the Spaniard from the job at hand.

“I know if I win tomorrow I’m going to become the No. 1, [but] I will try not to think about that,” said the top-seeded Alcaraz after he defeated Jannik Sinner in straight sets in Saturday’s semi-finals. “[I will] just think about the things that I have to do. I would say it is going to be a really tactical match against Daniil… I have to make everything perfect. That’s all I’m going to think [about] tomorrow.”

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Alcaraz Makes More ATP Masters 1000 History By Reaching Indian Wells Final

Medvedev will rise one spot to No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings regardless of the result on Sunday and the 27-year-old has been the dominant force on Tour for the past month. He has notched 19 straight victories across four tournaments on three different continents, lifted titles in Rotterdam, Doha, and Dubai, and is now one win away from becoming the first player to claim four tour-level titles in five weeks since Andy Murray in 2016.

“Once you win, you never want to stop,” said four-time Masters 1000 champion Medvedev on Saturday. “No matter which record I broke or made even, or [being] the first one since 2016 to go in four finals, I just want to win tomorrow.”

Medvedev may be tempted to turn to his 1-0 ATP Head2Head series lead against the Spaniard for confidence ahead of his first Masters 1000 final since the 2021 Rolex Paris Masters. Yet the fifth seed acknowledges that the present-day Alcaraz is a completely different prospect to the 18-year-old he defeated in straight-sets at Wimbledon in 2021.

“It counts in our head-to-head and it has to count, that’s how tennis works,” said Medvedev after his semi-final victory against Frances Tiafoe. “I also have my matches which I lost when I was not at the top, but he was definitely not the same player [in 2021] that he is right now.”

“Right now is totally different,” concurred two-time Masters 1000 titlist and 2022 Indian Wells semi-finalist Alcaraz. “I’m an experienced guy, or at least I’m more experienced than that match. I know how to play against him. I practised with him a few times, as well, so is not new thing for me right now. So it’s going to be, I think, a totally different match.”

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Medvedev’s 19-match winning streak has been powered by his trademark attributes: precise serving and relentless hitting from the baseline. Alcaraz’s ability to penetrate those defences with his blistering groundstrokes will be crucial to deciding the outcome of Sunday’s final.

“He’s a wall. He returns every ball, impossible shots,” said Alcaraz. “I talked with my team that the returns [against him] are almost in the corner of the court and [he is] still winning the points… I probably [have to] hit my best shots to hit winners against him.”

Alcaraz’s all-around attributes raise the possibility that the Spaniard will deploy serve-and-volley tactics to capitalise on Medvedev’s renowned deep return position. Tiafoe used the tactic to good effect in Saturday’s semi-final, and Medvedev is prepared for more of the same from Alcaraz.

“It’s just an opportunity they have, and that’s always for sure the question to me if they start doing it, do I advance my position?” said Medvedev. “Sometimes I do, sometimes not… So I give this opportunity, and then I try to kind of use it to my advantage to try to pass them. At the same time I know that if my return is a little bit somewhere off, there is a big chance they just go open court.”

Having never previously been past the fourth round in Indian Wells, Medvedev found a way to reach the final despite rolling his ankle against Alexander Zverev in the fourth round and cutting open his right thumb against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the quarter-finals. Yet the World No. 2 and two-time Masters 1000 champion Alcaraz represents his biggest challenge yet.

“He has amazing skills which are tough to compare to everyone,” said Medvedev. “Once he hits through the forehand, it’s amazing to watch. I don’t think there is anyone who can hit this strong and also with topspin.

“That’s why he was No. 1 in the world, the youngest No. 1 in history. That means something. It’s going to be great and fun to play against him.”

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Shevchenko, Borges Continue Hot Streaks To Meet In Phoenix Final

  • Posted: Mar 19, 2023

Shevchenko, Borges Continue Hot Streaks To Meet In Phoenix Final

Top seed Berrettini falls in quarter-finals

Alexander Shevchenko and Nuno Borges have been enjoying a sizzling start to the season on the ATP Challenger Tour. Now, they will put their hot streaks on the line when they clash in Sunday’s championship match at the 2023 Phoenix Challenger.

Because of rain earlier this week, Saturday’s action at the Arizona Tennis Classic featured quarter-final matches in the morning and the semi-finals after suitable rest. Shevchenko, who advanced through qualifying, won back-to-back three setters, including against top seed Matteo Berrettini, to advance to his second Challenger final of the season. Borges, 26, extended his Challenger-level winning streak to nine.

Because of rain earlier this week, Saturday’s action at the Arizona Tennis Classic featured quarter-final matches in the morning and the semi-finals after suitable rest.

ATP Challenger Tour 

The 22-year-old Shevchenko started the day by ousting World No. 23 Berrettini 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. A few hours later, Shevchenko returned to Centre Court and rallied from a set down to defeat Quentin Halys 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3.

“It’s been an absolute unreal day,” Shevchenko said. “First starting against Matteo and then winning in tough three sets is absolutely something ridiculous. I never imagined I could do it and now I did. I’m shocked about it.”

Against the Frenchman Halys, Shevchenko was down 0-2 in the final set and fended off two break points to avoid going down a double break. The Arizona crowd quickly got behind the qualifier to help bring him across the finish line. Despite cramping late in the deciding set, Shevchenko rallied to continue his dream week.

Earlier this year, Shevchenko claimed his second Challenger Tour title when he triumphed at the Tenerife Challenger-1. Boasting a 9-3 Challenger-level season record, Shevchenko stated that he’s seeing his hard work beginning to pay off.

“I got a lot of matches last year and I was just a rookie on the Challenger Tour,” Shevchenko said. “This year I started how I expected and I knew as time goes on, I’m going to be better and better and it’s showing up right now.”

A jam-packed crowd enjoys Saturday's action at the Challenger 175 event in Phoenix.
A jam-packed crowd enjoys Saturday’s action at the Challenger 175 event in Phoenix. Credit: Mary Grace Grabill

Shevchenko is coached by Gunter Bresnik, who has worked with prominent players such as Boris Becker, Patrick McEnroe, Dominic Thiem, and Gael Monfils.

Should Shevchenko defeat Borges to claim the Phoenix Challenger 175 title, he will crack the Top 100 for the first time.

“I expect a tough battle,” Shevchenko said. “I need to recover as fast as possible because I am cramping. But Nuno is a really good player, inside the Top 100, and he’s had really good wins here.”

Portuguese No. 1 Borges defeated Australian Alexei Popyrin in a three-set quarter-final before taking out Jan-Lennard Struff in the final four. The former Mississippi State University standout needed just one hour, seven minutes to down German qualifier Struff 6-4, 6-2.

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“Great day out there for me, surprised myself honestly” Borges said. “I knew it was going to be a long and tough day. But I played great, especially in the semi-finals. I’m really proud of myself and can’t wait for the final.”

Borges, who is at a career-high 78 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, claimed last month’s Monterrey Challenger and is riding a nine-match winning streak at the Challenger level.

“The start of the year has been quite amazing,” Borges said. “The last few weeks have been really positive. Started in Mexico and I’ve been on a streak you could say. I’ve been enjoying being on tour and playing these tournaments and nice places.”

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Looking ahead to Sunday’s final, Borges knows that his work will be cut out for him.

“Shevchenko has been on a roll, I’ve seen him around a lot but we haven’t played each other,” Borges said. “I’m expecting big things from him and I’m hoping I’m up for the challenge. It’s been a great tournament for him and for me. Let’s enjoy the final and do our best.”

In Phoenix doubles action, Australian Open finalists Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski advanced to the final after defeating Roberto Carballes Baena and Pedro Martinez 6-4, 6-2.

Nys and Zielinksi will next meet American duo Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow, who downed Julian Cash and Henry Patten 6-7(7), 6-4, 10-4 in Saturday’s semi-final.

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Alcaraz Makes More ATP Masters 1000 History By Reaching Indian Wells Final

  • Posted: Mar 19, 2023

Alcaraz Makes More ATP Masters 1000 History By Reaching Indian Wells Final

Spaniard has reached the final at both Miami and Indian Wells

Editor’s note: This story was translated from

Carlos Alcaraz is relentlessly rewriting the annals of professional tennis. On Saturday, the Murcia native reached the final of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, once again underlining his status as one of the ATP Tour’s most feared players. With a smile on his face after a job well done, the Spaniard has found yet another way to etch his name into the history books.

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Alcaraz is the 18th man to have reached singles finals at both Indian Wells and Miami, demonstrating his ability to adapt at two of the most iconic events on the calendar. Having won his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy last year in South Florida — becoming the youngest winner in the history of the tournament and the third-youngest champion overall in the prestigious category — the Spaniard will be bidding to add to his fast-growing trophy collection when he takes on Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s Southern California final.

Players Who Have Reached Singles Finals In Indian Wells & Miami

Player  Indian Wells  Miami
Carlos Alcaraz  1  1
John Isner  1  1
Andy Murray  1  4
Novak Djokovic  6  7
Rafael Nadal  5  5
Roger Federer  9  5
Ivan Ljubicic  1  1
Andy Roddick  1  2
Carlos Moya  1  1
Marcelo Ríos  1  1
Pete Sampras  3  4
Michael Chang  3  1
Jim Courier  2  1
Andre Agassi  3  8
Stefan Edberg  2  1
Miloslav Mecir  1  1
Jimmy Connors  3  1
Ivan Lendl  2 3

The achievement is even rarer than reaching World No. 1, with the Miami event first being played in 1985. Since the start of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 1973, a total of 28 players have managed to reach its peak in singles, while only 18 have progressed to the final in both Indian Wells and Miami.

It is a list replete with legends, including all members of the Big Four and many of the great players of the 1980s and 1990s, who are now joined by the latest superstar of men’s professional tennis. It is yet another historic feat to add to a career that is progressing at breakneck speed.

Alcaraz, who this week reached the milestone of his 100th tour-level win, will be vying to cap off a magical week in the desert when he clashes with Medvedev, the only current Top 10 player he is yet to defeat among those he has played (excludes Fritz, Rublev).

Did You Know?
Carlos Alcaraz is attempting to become the youngest player in history to complete the career ‘Sunshine Double’, by claiming the Indian Wells and Miami ATP Masters 1000 titles before turning 20. The man from Murcia would break the records set by Michael Chang, Jim Courier and Novak Djokovic, who all completed the set at the age of 20.

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Bopanna/Ebden Win Indian Wells Doubles Title In Match Tie-Break

  • Posted: Mar 19, 2023

Bopanna/Ebden Win Indian Wells Doubles Title In Match Tie-Break

Bopanna, 43, becomes oldest ATP Masters 1000 champion

Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden finished their BNP Paribas Open title run the way they started it, with a clutch performance in a Match Tie-break. The unseeded champions upset top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski 6-3, 2-6, 10-8 in Sunday’s Indian Wells final, with the 43-year-old Bopanna becoming the oldest ATP Masters 1000 trophy-winner.

“Truly special. It’s called Tennis Paradise for a reason,” the Indian veteran said after clinching his fifth Masters 1000 trophy and first in Indian Wells. “I’ve been, over the years, coming here and seeing all these guys win for so many years. I’m really happy that Matt and I were able to do this and get this title here. It’s been some tough matches, close matches. Today we played against one of the best teams out there. Really happy that we got the trophy.”

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The Indian-Australian pairing knocked off defending and two-time desert titlists John Isner and Jack Sock in Friday’s semi-finals and beat Canadian singles stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov in the quarters. Their opening victory came in a Match Tie-break against Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez.

Now 11-4 in their first season together, Bopanna/Ebden are 2-1 in finals with a victory in Doha and a runner-up finish in Rotterdam.

“It takes everything. We call this maybe the fifth Grand Slam for a reason,” said Ebden, speaking about the quick success of the new pairing. “We’re working on our game. Even at our ages we’re still improving, still gelling as a pair, our execution, our chemistry.”

<a href=''>Rohan Bopanna</a>, <a href=''>Matthew Ebden</a>

Bopanna, who turned 43 on 4 March, passed his former partner Daniel Nestor to become the oldest ATP Masters 1000 finalist and again beat the Canadian’s mark by becoming the oldest champion at the prestigious level.

“I spoke to Danny Nestor and I told him sorry I’m going to beat his record,” he joked. “Winning the title, that stays with me, so really happy with that.”

Bopanna was playing in his 10th ATP Masters 1000 final and now holds 24 tour-level trophies following the victory. A former World No. 3, Bopanna moved up four places to No. 11 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Rankings behind the trophy run.

Ebden, who won the 2022 Wimbledon title with fellow Aussie Max Purcell, won his ninth tour-level title and his first at the ATP Masters 1000 level. The 35-year-old moved up 19 places to No. 18 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Rankings this tournament, setting himself up for a new career high on Monday.

“Bops and I spoke about it at the beginning of this year. We said we’re not here to make up numbers,” Ebden added. “We want to win the Slams, we want to win the Masters, the 500s, and try to get to that No. 1 ranking. That’s what it’s about. Today’s a big step in that direction.”

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Alcaraz On Brink Of No. 1 After Sinner SF Win In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 19, 2023

Alcaraz On Brink Of No. 1 After Sinner SF Win In Indian Wells

Alcaraz seeks first win vs. Medvedev in Sunday’s final

In the latest installment of a rivalry that could define the ATP Tour for the next decade, Carlos Alcaraz edged Jannik Sinner to break new ground at the BNP Paribas Open and move within one victory of a return to the top of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

After Saturday’s 7-6(4), 6-3 triumph — in which he saved a set point in the opening set — the Spaniard will play his first Indian Wells final against Daniil Medvedev, knowing a win would secure his return to World No. 1.

Watch Sunday’s final from midnight CET/7pm ET

“I’m really happy with the performance today,” said Alcaraz, who has not lost a set this tournament. “I’m really happy to get through this great match. Jannik obviously is a really great player with great shots. 

“I would say we’re going to have a great rivalry over the years. We are playing in the best tournaments in the world. It’s not over here. We are going to play a lot of great matches. All I can say is I’m really happy with my first final here in Indian Wells.”

The blockbuster semi-final was the fifth ATP Head2Head meeting between Alcaraz and Sinner, and the first since their marathon US Open quarter-final that set a record for latest New York finish at 2:50 a.m. The Spaniard won their desert showdown in a brisk-by-comparison one hour, 52 minutes to improve to 3-2 in the budding rivalry.

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The bulk of the drama came in a back-and-forth opening set as Sinner took full advantage of a dip in level from his opponent to turn a 2-4 deficit into a 5-4 lead, winning 11 straight points in the process. Sinner kept the pressure on to create a set point at 6-5, but a uniquely Alcaraz combination — big serve, drop shot, volley winner — erased the chance and ensured the set would be decided in a tie-break.

Encouraged by his escape, the Spaniard powered through the tie-break, a pair of backhand blasts on set point sealing the deal.

“Playing against Jannik is never easy. I had to overcome a little bit of problems. I had set point down,” Alcaraz said of that crucial period. “I knew that I had to increase my level to [beat] Jannik. It was a really close first set. In the second set I put out all the nerves and played more relaxed. I think it was the key of everything.”

Alcaraz expertly carried his momentum into set two, when he consolidated an early break with a point-of-the-season contender, planting a topspin lob on the baseline after a Sinner dipper forced him to retreat from the net.

He later wriggled out of 0/30 to hold for 5-2, and served out the match with ease behind a pair of punishing forehand winners.

Champion in Miami last season, Alcaraz will bid to become the youngest man to win both legs of the Sunshine Double on Sunday. Also the reigning titlist in Madrid, the 19-year-old is seeking to join countryman Rafael Nadal as the only man to win at least three ATP Masters 1000 titles as a teen (Nadal won six). Alcaraz is 2-0 in his previous finals at that prestigious level.

The Spaniard has reached the final in all three of his 2023 events, with a win in Buenos Aires and a defeat in Rio de Janeiro, both against Cameron Norrie. He missed more than three months from last November due to abdominal and hamstring injuries before making his season debut in Buenos Aires in February.

Alcaraz’s Sunday meeting with Medvedev will be the pair’s second ATP Head2Head matchup, with Medvedev winning their previous meeting in straight sets at Wimbledon in 2021. The fifth seed brings a 19-match and three-tournament winning streak into the title match.

“I really want to play against the best tennis player in the world,” Alcaraz said, looking ahead to the final. “I always say that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, and I would say that Daniil is the best player right now… amazing winning streak.

“For me, it’s going to be a really difficult challenge but I’m really prepared for that. I will summon my best tomorrow in the final.”

Sinner, who made history by becoming the first Italian man to reach the Indian Wells quarter-finals or semi-finals, moved up two places to No. 11 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings behind his run to the last four. He was seeking the biggest win of his career by measure of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings against World No. 2 Alcaraz.

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Henman, Willis Among Participants In 24-Hour Charity Tennis Marathon

  • Posted: Mar 19, 2023

Henman, Willis Among Participants In 24-Hour Charity Tennis Marathon

11th edition of event organised by Bright Ideas For Tennis

Bright Ideas For Tennis continues to make a difference for those in need.

Tim Henman, Jack Draper and Marcus Willis were among current and former British players who joined the organisation’s 24-hour tennis marathon at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre from 25-26 February to raise funds for the I Play 30 programme, which brings together local venues and schools to deliver free weekly coaching for students.

“It’s great to be back with Danny Sapsford and Bright Ideas,” Henman said in a video produced by Bright Ideas For Tennis. “This 24-hour Tennis-a-Thon is not only a great way of raising money, but it’s about the fundraising to provide opportunities within tennis for those that are less fortunate.”

Other British ATP players who participated were Dominic Inglot, James Auckland, Barry Cowan, Jamie Baker, Lee Childs, Martin Lee and Colin Beecher. They joined students from local schools as well as participants in the programme’s inclusive tennis sessions for a memorable day of tennis.

Willis, who last year came out of retirement to pursue a doubles career, was happy to give back. The 32-year-old has supported Bright Ideas For Tennis for a few years and has visited clubs across the country, even recently trying “blind tennis”, which he called “awesome”.

“It’s great to work with Bright Ideas for Tennis to help give more people access to tennis coaching and activities,” Willis told “The charity works hard to give opportunities to those who wouldn’t normally get a chance to pick up a racquet and it’s brilliant to see so many other ATP Tour players sharing the court with the participants to support their fundraising efforts.”

Learn More About Bright Ideas For Tennis
View Fundraising Page

It was the 11th edition of the tennis marathon, which raises funds to allow for the organisation’s programming to continue to provide free access to sports for those who ordinarily would not receive it.

Danny Sapsford, the former British player who is co-founder and charity manager of Bright Ideas For Tennis, thanked all who participated in making the marathon successful again.

“We are delighted to be supported by so many current and former ATP Tour pros. They really do make such a difference to this event and it’s great to see them giving back to the game,” Sapsford said. ”It’s an incredible experience for those taking part to play with them at the National Tennis Centre and create memories for a lifetime.”

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Medvedev Takes Down Tiafoe To Reach Maiden Indian Wells Final

  • Posted: Mar 19, 2023

Medvedev Takes Down Tiafoe To Reach Maiden Indian Wells Final

Fifth seed will face Alcaraz or Sinner in championship match

Daniil Medvedev added a slightly more straightforward chapter to his rollercoaster 2023 BNP Paribas Open story on Saturday, when he eased past Frances Tiafoe 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach his maiden final at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells.

Aside from letting slip seven match points and being broken twice when serving for the match late in the semi-final clash, the fifth seed delivered a high-class all-around display to extend his winning streak to 19 matches. Having so far claimed ATP Tour titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai during his run, the former World No. 1 is now within one match of becoming the first man to win four titles in five weeks since Andy Murray in 2016.

“It was crazy at the end,” said Medvedev. “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’m just really happy that I managed not to lose this match.”

As he has been throughout his red-hot run, Medvedev was relentless from the baseline throughout the one-hour, 47-minute clash. Yet he also sprinkled into his performance a series of magical moments that left an at-times exasperated Tiafoe — himself one of the biggest crowd-pleasers on Tour — with few chances to counter.

Medvedev rolled his ankle in his fourth-round victory against Alexander Zverev and then cut his thumb badly in his quarter-final win against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. After overcoming those challenges and then defeating Tiafoe, he booked an appointment with second seed Carlos Alcaraz or 11th seed Jannik Sinner in Sunday’s championship match. The 27-year-old is chasing his fifth Masters 1000 crown, and his first since 2021.

“I’m playing better and better I would say,” said Medvedev, who had admitted struggling with the slower conditions in his early rounds in the California desert. “When I rolled my ankle I started playing better on this court!

“They’re still not my favourite conditions to play, so that’s 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’re in the final you cannot complain, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hope I can play my best tennis.”

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Despite his late struggles, Medvedev’s serve proved crucial to his victory overall. The World No. 6 won 80 per cent (35/44) of points behind his first delivery as he restricted Tiafoe’s ability to attack freely on return.

Medvedev moved ahead on Stadium 1 by carving a stunning reaction forehand pass off his toes at 5-5, 30/40. That earned him the sole break of an opening set in which his watertight groundstrokes proved too much for Tiafoe, who could not find the consistency to avoid dropping his first set of the tournament.

When Medvedev then broke Tiafoe’s serve again in the opening game of second set and progressed to 5-3, Tiafoe’s hopes of reaching his maiden Masters 1000 title appeared over. After failing to convert three match points on Tiafoe’s serve, however, three consecutive breaks of serve — which included Tiafoe saving four further match points from 40/0 on Medvedev’s serve at 5-6 — ensured a tie-break.

Tiafoe, whose whipped cross-court forehand in particular had powered his remarkable recovery, was again able to put a slow start behind him to turn 1/5 into 4/5 in the tie-break. Medvedev made no mistake with his eighth match point, however. He sent down an ace to seal his spot in the final and improve his ATP Head2Head series lead against the American to 5-0.

Despite falling just short of reaching his maiden Masters 1000 final, the 25-year-old Tiafoe will on Monday return to his career-high of No. 14 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings as a result of his run in Indian Wells.

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