Over the last few seasons, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina has provided tennis fans with a seemingly endless supply of highlight reel footage. He dives, he slides, he leaps, he tumbles; the stylish Spaniard raises his fists to the heavens and celebrates with gusto when he emerges victorious.
If this sounds like your cup of tea – and how could it not be – grab some popcorn and head over to witness the Davidovich Fokina show as he takes the court for his first BNP Paribas Open quarterfinal against Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday.
You’ll likely be blown away.
On Tuesday the 23-year-old made relatively light work of Chile’s Cristian Garin, defusing the former World No.17’s power while leaving Diadora tire tracks all over the blue and green-painted hard courts.
On Wednesday he’ll jump to a bigger stage and he’s excited to have the opportunity to take his game to California’s biggest tennis stage.
“After my match I was in the shower thinking that this is exciting for my team, for my friends, for people at home that will watch it on TV, it’s my first Masters quarterfinal on hard court, and I am excited for it.”
The hard courts here at the Indian Wells tennis garden used to trouble Davidovich Fokina – he had never been past the second round prior to this year – but he is showing a capacity for growth as his game continues to evolve on the ATP Tour.
No longer content to be a shooting star, Davidovich is shooting for staying power as he makes a play for bigger milestones.
“My third time here, and I have always struggled here on these courts,” says the Malaga, Spain native. “Now is the moment to have a step forward, and keep going to push more and more – we were practicing very hard for these moments and I am enjoying.”
Thanks to three wins in the California desert, Davidovich Fokina is slated to make his Top 25 debut in next week’s ATP rankings. Nice, but It’s not all that important, he tells BNPParibasOpen.com.
“I don’t look for a specific ranking, I just want to get to my best level, a higher level, and it’s 100 percent mental,” he says.
To get higher in the rankings and compete for more titles on the biggest stages in the sport, Davidovich Fokina believes consistency is key.
“This year has been better, even when I face Top 10 players, even if I lose, I am playing with more energy, and in the right way,” he says. “To bring that energy more consistently is important for me.”
First QF for Foki 🙌@alexdavidovich1 defeats Garin 6-3 6-4 to keep advancing in the desert!#TennisParadise pic.twitter.com/BLPgiCUAWQ
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 14, 2023
Though he is a showstopping talent that has gained recognition for his willingness to risk life and limb on the tennis court, the current World No.28 doesn’t believe in showboating. It’s just that sometimes he simply can’t help himself.
His Twitter tagline does read “Just trying to don’t hurt myself when I dive on court,” after all…
“If the moment calls for it, I can do it, but it’s not something I try to do, to put on a show, it has to be natural,” he says.
Whether he flies through the air or keeps his feet on the ground on Wednesday as he bids for his biggest career hard court win against Medvedev, fans are sure to enjoy the Davidovich Fokina experience. He may not be the daredevil he once was, but for sure he’ll leave it all out there, win or lose.