INDIAN WELLS (US), March 15 — Daniil Medvedev shook off a second-set fall to beat Alexander Zverev 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 yesterday, the “crazy” victory pushing him into the Indian Wells quarter-finals for the first time.
Medvedev notched his 17th straight ATP victory. But for awhile it seemed the red-hot form that saw him lift trophies in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai wouldn’t be enough in the combined WTA and ATP Masters 1000 event in the California desert.
The world number six, frustrated as ever by the slow courts at Indian Wells, rolled his right ankle in the sixth game of the second set, crying out in and lying on the court for several minutes before limping to his chair.
Zverev, who suffered three torn ankle ligaments at last year’s French Open, looked on in concern, but after the injury was examined and taped by medical staff Medvedev continued and turned the match around.
“It was one of the first times in my life that the physio had taped my ankle, so I decided to give it a try,” Medvedev said. What was surprising was it was much easier to run than walk. So when I was walking I was limping and then I was running fine.”
Medvedev would save all 10 break points he faced in the second set — eight alone before he fell.
He grabbed a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker, thrilling the crowd with defensive overhead smash and finally closing it out with a crisply angled forehand winner.
He went up an early break in the third and was untroubled on his serve until he squandered a match point as he was broken in the 10th game.
Zverev couldn’t build on that, however, clutching his head in disbelief as he double-faulted on break point in the next game.
Medvedev seized the opening, holding at love to clinch the win after three hours and 17 minutes.
“When the adrenaline goes down, it will be pretty painful, so I am going to probably do a scan to see what it is and if I can continue to play,” Medvedev said.
Norrie into quarter-finals
He’s scheduled to face 28th-ranked Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Chilean qualifier Cristian Garin.
Garin had toppled world number four Casper Ruud in the third round.
The Stadium Court drama launched a jam-packed day that featured all men’s and women’s round of 16 matches.
Men’s top seed Carlos Alcaraz, the US Open champion who is chasing a third Masters 1000 title that would see him return to number one in the world, took on 21-year-old Briton Jack Draper — who is coming off a third-round victory over childhood hero Andy Murray.
Defending champion Taylor Fritz took on Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.
Women’s world number one Iga Swiatek, trying to become just the second woman after Martina Navratilova in 1990-91 to win back-to-back Indian Wells titles, faced 2021 US Open winner Emma Raducanu.
In early matches, 2021 champion Cameron Norrie of Britain eased past seventh-ranked Russian Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4.
Sixth-seeded American Coco Gauff got past Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 and seventh-seeded Maria Sakkari — runner-up to Swiatek last year — beat Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. — AFP