Indian Wells: Medvedev battles ankle injury to move into semis

Indian Wells (USA):  Daniil Medvedev entered the Indian Wells Masters semifinal under an injury cloud, battling past Davidovich Fokina of Spain, 6-3, 7-5 and booked a last-eight clash with 14th-seeded American Frances Tiafoe, here.

Less than 24 hours ago, after injuring his ankle in the backcourt of his round of 16 match on Tuesday afternoon, Medvedev had limped into the press room after his three-set victory over Alexander Zverev and told reporters that he would try his best to take the court on Wednesday.

In a 6-3, 7-5 victory against the 23rd seed on Wednesday — his 18th straight match win — Medvedev moved well in a fast start to alleviate any concerns. He added a new worry late in the second set when another fall required treatment on a bloody right thumb, but after escaping 0/40 at 3-4, the four-time ATP Masters 1000 champion did just enough in windy conditions to finish the job in straight sets.

“I’m actually happy the ankle didn’t hurt much because when I warmed up, it was hurting pretty bad,” Medvedev was quoted as saying by the ATP Tour.

“I knew I was going to play, I knew I was going to try. But I couldn’t move well during the warm-up. I tried to warm it up as long as possible, took one painkiller so that probably helped. I was actually feeling better and better during the match.

The match was absolutely crazy. I could talk about this for 15 minutes, but I’m just really happy to go through such a tough match with such tough conditions with the wind,” he added.

Medvedev is now 36-5 in sets during his winning run, which began with a comeback win against Davidovich Fokina in Rotterdam last month. He is seeking his fourth straight tour-level title after triumphs in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai.

The 27-year-old’s extended run has lifted him from outside the Top 10 last month up to No. 5 this week in the ATP Live Rankings, though he cannot move any higher even with a title in Indian Wells.

He will have two days off before he faces Tiafoe in Saturday’s semifinals. He owns a 4-0 ATP Head-to-Head record against the American, who has not lost a set in reaching the last four, including a 6-4, 6-4 quarterfinal win against Cameron Norrie earlier on Wednesday.

Earlier, Tiafoe overcame Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 to end the Briton’s eight-match winning run and sealed his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal berth in seven appearances.


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