Medvedev, Alcaraz to meet in Indian Wells final

INDIAN WELLS, California. Daniil Medvedev defeated Francis Tiafoe 7-5, 7-6 (4) on Saturday for his 19th straight win this year to win the BNP Paribas Open final.

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

Alcaraz needs to win the title on Sunday to regain the world number one spot behind Novak Djokovic. The Serb, a five-time Indian Wells champion, withdrew before the tournament began after he was denied entry to the US because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Medvedev, who placed fifth, went on to dominate Tiafoe, winning all five of their career bouts, including 12 of 13 sets.

“In general, I played at a very good level, but if I had not won this match, I would have had nightmares for a long time with all the opportunities that I had,” Medvedev said in a post-match on-court interview. . “For example, six or seven match points and two times [I was] submission to the match. But I’m happy to win. Now I can sleep well tonight and prepare for tomorrow.”

Medvedev’s winning streak began with his title race in Rotterdam in February. He then won tournaments in Doha and Dubai. Now the 2021 US Open champion and former world No. 1 could add another title.

Medvedev showed resilience during a 12-day tournament in the Southern California desert. He overcame a severely sprained ankle and cut thumb in two consecutive matches to reach the final.

Alcaraz has only played Medvedev once, in the second round of Wimbledon in 2021. Medvedev won in three sets. Alcaraz said his biggest concern was Medvedev’s 6ft 6in height.

“You know, he’s very, very tall,” said Alcaraz, who is 6 feet tall. “What can I say? I think he just lost one match this year. He has a great winning streak and it will be very difficult for me to play against him tomorrow. I’m going to enjoy the finale and let’s see what happens.”

Alcaraz won the Miami Open and the US Open last year. On Sunday, he could win the third of three major US tournaments. By winning his first Grand Slam title in New York, 19-year-old Alcaraz became the youngest male No. 1 in history. In January, he lost first place in the rankings to Novak Djokovic.

Alcaraz won Saturday thanks to the strength of his first innings (he threw 72% of them compared to Sinner’s 50%), creative play and his ability to move Sinner around the court and take control of the pace of play from his opponent.

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

This year the Czech duo improved their record to 11-0 by winning the Australian Open in January. They shared a $436,730 prize pool.

Alyssa Renig of Sportzshala and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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