Two streaks ended for Daniil Medvedev on Sunday night at the BNP Paribas Open, but not the one that really mattered. When Ilya Ivashka won the second set against the fifth seed, it ended Medvedev’s 18-set winning run and his seven-set streak against the World No. 85.
But the four-time ATP Masters 1000 champion regrouped to secure a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 result, scoring his 16th straight victory to advance to the fourth round, where he will meet Alexander Zverev. His progress to the last 16 matches his best Indian Wells result from 2021.
The matchup against Zverev, the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting since Zverev’s victory in the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals, will break a 6-6 tie in the series.
“I think our match could be a lot of rallies. Let’s see. It’s going to be interesting,” Medvedev previewed. “I feel like he’s playing better and better, which is normal after a tough injury. He’s someone who was one of the best players on Tour, going kind of close to World No. 1, started playing better and better in Grand Slams.
“His injury was unfortunate but I’m sure he’s going to come back. Hopefully next match I can be the winner and I can play some good tennis.”
It was business as usual at the start, with Medvedev breaking in the opening game of a straightforward first set. He broke again to open the second set, only for Ivashka to break back from 40/15 to spark a run of eight straight points and flip the feeling on the stadium court.
Strong serving kept Medvedev in the set, but Ivashka was on top in the many long rallies as his opponent grew frustrated with what he felt were slow conditions in the desert night. A loose service game handed a break to Ivashka, who served out the set to love to force a decider.
“[In the] second set I don’t feel like I was playing bad,” Medvedev said post-match. “It’s just that you hit 10 good shots in the rally and it could be not enough. That’s tough.”
Just when it appeared Medvedev had a battle on his hands, he rediscovered the form that propelled him to titles in each of his past three ATP Tour events (Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai). He raced to a 5-0 lead in the final set, locking in from the baseline to blunt Ivashka’s power game, and served out the win after Ivashka avoided a bagel with a 0/40 escape, completing the job on his fifth match point.
Medvedev finished with eight aces and six double faults according to Infosys ATP Stats, those statistics underlining an up-and-down performance at the year’s first ATP Masters 1000. But as champions do, he played his best when it mattered most.