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ATP Semifinals: Tiafoe Asks The Questions, But Medvedev Has The Answers
2 Min Read · March 18, 2023

The questions keep coming, fast and furious.

But no matter what is asked of Daniil Medvedev at the 2023 BNP Paribas Open there’s always an answer coming back at light speed.

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The No. 5 seed had all the answers again on Saturday as he worked his way past a tricky comeback attempt from American Frances Tiafoe, 7-5, 7-6(4), under pristine blue skies on Stadium 1 at the BNP Paribas Open.

Make it 19 wins on the trot for the 2021 US Open champ, and a first final in the California desert.

It was a far more challenging victory than the straight set scoreline might indicate.

Tiafoe fought furiously to prolong the contest, valiantly saving seven match points to stay alive in the second set, but former World No.1 Medvedev kept his cool and polished off his 24th victory of the season by winning the second set tiebreak at the one hour and 46-minute mark.

Next on the agenda for Medvedev? A good night’s sleep.

“In general I played a really great level, but if I didn’t win this match I think I would have nightmares for a very long time. I would not sleep well tonight and a few nights more,” a relieved Medvedev said on the court after the match. “Really happy to win, I can sleep good tonight and prepare for tomorrow.”

Medvedev improved to 5-0 lifetime against Tiafoe, and he has now won 12 of 13 sets from the 25-year-old World No.16. The 27-year-old set the tone early, putting Tiafoe’s attacking game under pressure with wicked baseline drives, but the American never backed down – even if he was forced to change up his tactics.

Playing a high-risk, net-crashing game, Tiafoe saved three break points and remained on serve until the eleventh game of the opening set. But Medvedev punched through for 6-5, sending a forehand off the net cord past a net-rushing Tiafoe for a winner.

Medvedev served out the set, 7-5, and quickly took charge in set two.

With all hope nearly lost, Tiafoe would soon save three match points while serving at 3-5 to stay alive.

The fun was just getting started…

Medvedev earned four more match points while serving for the match at 6-5, but they all went begging.

The partisan crowd erupted with each of Tiafoe’s match point saves, raising the volume incrementally each time.

There were bright spots even in defeat for Tiafoe. He was brilliant at the net throughout the contest, regularly converting last-ditch forays with silky touch winners. He serve-and-volleyed with regularity as he tried to avoid trading baseline blows with the machine-like consistency that Medvedev – who cracked 30 winners against just nine unforced errors – produced.

In the end Medvedev’s locked-down baseline game and pinpoint passing shots proved to be too much for Tiafoe as he hit a series of winners and took the play from Tiafoe to close out the victory in the tiebreak.

Streaking Medvedev has now won 38 of his last 43 sets since his 19-match winning streak commenced in Rotterdam. He will try to make it 20 on Sunday against the winner of Saturday’s second men’s semifinal between top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner.

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