Daniil Medvedev is confirmed as a favorite in the semifinal and formalizes his candidacy for the title of Indian Wells 2023 with a superb performance before a Frances Tiafoe that he ended up giving in at the moments when he put his rival in difficulties. The Russian, current number six in the world, took a hard-fought victory with a final score of 7-5 and 7-6(4) in 1 hour and 46 minutes with a dominance displayed by Daniil after winning a more disputed first set. Medvedev now awaits an opponent in the Indian Wells final, which will come from the clash between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner.
With an exchange of several shots and attracting her rival to the net, Frances made her debut on the scoreboard from service with a passing shot that helped her to start with confidence. Tiafoe made it 1-0 with a scoreless game, proving plugged in with her serve. Daniil did not start with the same success, who had to pull seconds more than the Russian wanted. Even so, the American could only snatch a point from the rest.
Tiafoe, wanting a show before a concentrated Medvedev
Medvedev tried to go on the attack, but the American, pushed by the stands, defended himself to avoid danger. With the same intentions on the part of Daniil, Frances saved triple break point to keep the distance. Little by little increasing the temperature of the duel, the American found his rhythm in the points. At the moment when the most was played in the first set, Medvedev found the magic in his racket to prevail in a small battle at the net and get one game away from winning a partial, something that he would do in a few minutes.
Medvedev sinks into his doubts
Frustrated with the outcome of the first set, Tiafoe had no choice but to give in to a Medvedev capable of hitting the winner to the line from anywhere on the track. Although with the same impressions on the part of the Russian, Frances repeatedly went up to the net to add a game more than necessary to stay in the semifinal. So much so that Tiafoe enjoyed his first break point in the next game, an opportunity that he could not materialize in the light.
Daniil continued to pound impossible shots at a Frances who was patiently trying to work on points. Although it seemed that everything had already been said, the American saved up to three match points against so that it was Medvedev who had to win the victory. With minimal room for manoeuvre, Tiafoe returned the match to equality with the score at 5-5 thanks to a double fault from the Russian. Serious in the face of adversity, Daniil broke again to lead against an erratic Frances. The American once again brought out the best version of himself to the rest to force an unexpected tiebreak after having saved 7 match points.
Now yes, completely on his ground, Tiafoe made the audience rise from their seats to celebrate practically every point. Medvedev wasted no time in turning that start around to lead 5-1, once again leaving his rival with few options. With conscious changes in ball height and speed, Tiafoe closed the gap to make it 5-4. Finally, the eighth time was the charm for a Medvedev who was shaking his head to celebrate his first final in Indian Wells.