Down but not out, Daniil Medvedev extended his red-hot winning streak to 17 matches Tuesday when he recovered from a heavy fall to defeat Alexander Zverev at the BNP Paribas Open.
The fifth seed took a tumble when moving out wide at 2-3 in the second set, yelping in pain as he rolled his right ankle. However, after having his ankle taped, he continued and turned the match around, capturing victory on his second match point to earn a statement 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-5 victory against the 12th-seeded German.
“When I twisted [my ankle], I thought I was going to stand up just fine,” Medvedev said. “But then the pain started growing very fast, so I was like ‘That is not a good sign.’ I felt like I didn’t break it but I felt that one of the ligaments was a little injured, so I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play. 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. 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.
“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.”
Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
In the 13th chapter of their rivalry, the aggressive fifth seed struck 40 winners and also demonstrated his trademark defensive skills. He stood deep behind the baseline to soak up Zverev’s hitting, cutting down on errors as the match went on to wear down the German and reach the quarter-finals in Indian Wells for the first time.
Down but not out 💪
After a nasty fall, @DaniilMedwed goes on the attack. #InAttack 15% more than his match average through to the end of the set.
Bought himself time to recover and a place in the 1/4 finals against @alexdavidovich1 #TennisInsights | @BNPPARIBASOPEN pic.twitter.com/HKIwVDOydH
— Tennis Insights (@tennis_insights) March 14, 2023
After losing the opening set, Medvedev saved all 10 break points he faced in the second set, twice rallying from 0/40. He then levelled the match in the tie-break, producing a stunning defensive smash at 1/1. In the third set, Medvedev recovered from squandering a match point on serve at 5-4, with Zverev breaking back. Medvedev would not be denied, though, breaking again when Zverev hit a double fault, before he held serve to advance after three hours and 16 minutes.
The 27-year-old now leads Zverev 7-6 in their ATP Head2Head series, avenging his loss against the German in the title match at the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals.
Medvedev, currently No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, is chasing his fourth consecutive title, having triumphed in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai in the past month. He will continue his quest in California against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Zverev missed the second half of last season after suffering a right ankle injury during his Roland Garros semi-final against Rafael Nadal. The 25-year-old struggled to find his best level when returning to Tour in January, but has produced more consistent performances in recent weeks, advancing to the semi-finals in Dubai before his run to the fourth round in Indian Wells.
Davidovich Fokina downed Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-4 to end the Chilean’s run. The Spaniard dominated throughout the 85-minute clash, striking 20 winners and breaking four times to reach his third ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.
Davidovich Fokina, who advanced to the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo in 2021 and the championship match in 2022, is up two spots to No. 26 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. He reached a career-high No. 27 in April last year.
Garin had not dropped a set en route to the fourth round, taking out third seed Casper Ruud after coming through qualifying in Indian Wells.