Indian Wells Masters: Medvedev overcomes Zverev, ankle injury and court conditions to reach quarter-finals

Daniil Medvedev edged out Alexander Zverev 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-5 on Tuesday. He’ll play Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the No 23 seed, in the next round

Daniil Medvedev, Indian Wells 2023 Daniil Medvedev, Indian Wells 2023 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic
BNP Paribas Open •Round of 16 • completed
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Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No 5 seed, advanced to the quarter-finals of the Indian Wells Masters by edging out German Alexander Zverev, the No 12 seed, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-5 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in the most expected match of the round.

The match lasted three hours and 16 minutes – and saw limited capitalisation on break points from both players, Medvedev taking three of eight opportunities, and Zverev only two of 17.

One of those breaks for the German came in the final set, saving match point and levelling up at 5-5 – but he promptly double-faulted on his own serve to hand the initiative back to his opponent, who made no mistake with the second chance to serve it out.

Medvedev, ranked No 6, will face Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the No 23 seed, next.

The quarter-finals are now set :

• Alcaraz (1) – Auger-Aliassime (8)
Fritz (4) – Sinner (11)
Medvedev (5) – Davidovich Fokina (23)
Norrie (10) – Tiafoe (14)

It was a match full of drama. Medvedev took the opportunity between sets to complain once more about the slowness of the court conditions, declaring: “It’s a disgrace to sport, this court. Should be banned from playing here. Freaking disgrace to the sport, this freaking court.”

On court, I get crazy, because there are some points where I feel like I’m hitting five, ten good shots, and then I get a winner. I’m like, that’s not possible.

Daniil Medvedev

“I actually love the tournament, I just don’t like the court (smiling)”, Medvedev said after the match. “I understand that maybe out of 96 players, actually 60 is gonna say, Well, the court is fine. That’s just my problem. I do know that some people also don’t like it, but it comes to the question, if 80 players come out and say the court is too slow and something has to be changed, then that’s bad that it is not changed.”

“There are guys like Cam Norrie, I don’t know if Alcaraz likes to play here, but Norrie definitely adores to play here, then he would be, like, ‘Why did we change the courts’, and he’s right. We cannot change the courts just because I don’t like it. Here, talking calm, I understand this and I don’t like my behavior on court. But on court, I get crazy, because there are some points where I feel like I’m hitting five, ten good shots, and then I get a winner. I’m like, that’s not possible. And I get crazy, yeah.”

The turning point for him came, bizarrely, when he took a heavy fall and turned his ankle at the start of the second set. Zverev – who knows the danger of such an injury following his torn ankle ligaments at Roland-Garros last year – immediately crossed the court to him. After the Russian had gathered himself and the initial shock had worn off, he received a medical time-out, clearly in some pain as the physical therapist manipulated his foot – and much to Zverev’s bewilderment, it seemed to energise him.

This was Medvedev’s 17th match win in a row, following his titles in Doha, Dubai and Rotterdam.

Ahead of his victory, the Russian won against American Brandon Nakashima (6-4, 6-3) and Belarusian Ilya Ivashka (6-2, 3-6, 6-1). Zverev, ranked No 14, beat Argentinian Pedro Cachin (6-3, 6-1) and edged out Finn Emil Ruusuvuori (7-5, 1-6, 7-5) earlier in the tournament.

Indian Wells Masters, other last 16 results (Indian Wells Tennis Garden, hard, USD 8.800.000, most recent results first):

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