Daniil Medvedev moved closer to his first Masters 1000 title since 2021 as he won his 19th straight match to move into the finals of Indian Wells on Saturday – but needed eight match points to do it.

The former No. 1 denied the upset dream of Frances Tiafoe with a 7-5, 7-6 (5) victory to set up a Sunday final with the winner from young guns Carlos Alcaraz and Italy’s Jannik Sinner.

Medvedev is on the hunt for a fourth straight title after lifting trophies in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai in consecutive weeks.

The last man to win four titles in five weeks (Indian Wells lasts for two weeks) was Andy Murray at Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris in 2016.

“It was crazy,” the winner said. “I got super-tight trying to serve it out. There were a lot of opportunities missed. 

“I was afraid things would not go well for me. But I played good and to finish with an ace was a relief.”

Medvedev broke once in the opening set and secured the second set with a break for 1-0; he then survived a six-minute game to run his advantage to 4-2.

Tiafoe saved three match points against his own serve in the ninth game to survive for 4-5.

Medvedev threw in a costly double-fault to drop serve for the first time as Tiafoe pulled level at five games apiece. 

The former US Open winner again served for the match only to be denied by Tiafoe.

It took a tiebreaker and a concluding ninth ace on his eighth winning chance for Medvedev to pull through for victory in just under two hours.

He finished with 30 winners and a dozen unforced errors while Tiafoe was plagued by 32 unforced.

“I’m just happy I managed not to lose this match,” Mdvedev said. “These are still not my favourite conditions (slow hardcourt), maybe I was struggling on the match points more than on other courts.

“But when you are in the final you cannot complain; I’ll try to play my best tennis and try to win tomorrow.”

Medvedev will try to win his sixth Masters 1000 title from eight finals.

Main photo:- Daniil Medvedev on his way to victory in the Tennis Garden by Pete Staples/ATPTour.com


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