After an action-packed first seven days at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the 2023 BNP Paribas Open has reached the quarter-final stage. On Wednesday, four of the remaining players in the draw will step out on Stadium 1 aiming to prolong their stay in ‘Tennis Paradise’.
They include the two players that own the most and second-most match wins on Tour, respectively, in 2023 — Daniil Medvedev (22 wins) and Cameron Norrie (21). They seek to add to their tallies on Wednesday in order to book a semi-final spot at the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the season.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina stands in the way of fifth seed Medvedev, while one of two Americans left in the draw — Frances Tiafoe — will hope to ride home support to victory against Norrie. ATPTour.com previews the quarter-final matchups from the bottom half of the BNP Paribas Open draw.
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 Daniil Medvedev Vs.  Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP)
Not even rolling his ankle in the second set of Tuesday’s fourth-round epic against Alexander Zverev could disrupt Medvedev’s winning habit. After having his ankle taped, the fifth seed returned to court to clinch his 17th consecutive tour-level win.
What is currently the second-longest winning streak of Medvedev’s career began a month ago with a Rotterdam win against Davidovich Fokina, and the Spaniard is now his quarter-final opponent in California. Medvedev’s three-set first-round win in the Netherlands was the catalyst for a red-hot run of form that has so far seen the 27-year-old lift three ATP Tour trophies in as many weeks (Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai) and now surge to his maiden quarter-final in Indian Wells.
Davidovich Fokina knows he will likely have to be at his fiery best if he wants to bookend Medvedev’s winning streak. Despite trailing 0-2 in his ATP Head2Head series against the fifth seed, the Spaniard can draw confidence from the fact he has claimed the opening set in both matches. His crowd-pleasing, all-action style could also play a role in drumming up support from the fans on Stadium 1 as the World No. 28 aims to reach his second Masters 1000 semi-final.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in fourth-round action on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Matching the World No. 6’s consistency from the baseline will nonetheless be a tough ask for Davidovich Fokina. As Medvedev’s 17 previous opponents have found out, putting balls past the 18-time tour-level titlist in this form is one of the biggest challenges on Tour. A stunning defensive smash past Zverev on Tuesday was the most recent demonstration of the sort of defiant defence the Spaniard can expect to face on Wednesday.
“Only thing I said to myself, just hit it full power, there is no other choice,” said Medvedev, when asked about his remarkable winner against Zverev. “I hit it crosscourt. It was amazing shot. Well, even if you try to practise it, you probably miss eight or nine out of 10… That’s great to have such shots in such important moments. That saves your life.”
 Cameron Norrie (GBR) Vs.  Frances Tiafoe (USA)
After notching his 150th tour-level victory in the fourth round against Alejandro Tabilo, Tiafoe will hope to hit more milestones as he prepares for his first quarter-final appearance in Indian Wells. The American has not dropped a set in his three matches this fortnight and, should he defeat Norrie for the first time on Wednesday, would equal his career-high of No. 14 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
Looking further ahead, the American could potentially crack the Top 10 for the first time by reaching his maiden ATP Masters 1000 championship match in California. However, the 25-year-old Tiafoe will not be looking past his clash with the in-form 2021 Indian Wells champion Norrie, who prevailed in the pair’s only previous ATP Head2Head meeting in 2021 in Delray Beach.
“He’s a former champ here and he’s getting everything out of his career,” said 2022 US Open semi-finalist Tiafoe of Norrie, who is on an eight-match winning streak. “I have nothing but respect for that guy. He’s putting some miles on those legs and getting a lot of wins while doing it.”
Norrie’s fourth-round victory against sixth seed Andrey Rublev was yet another triumph based on the Briton’s ability to absorb an opponent’s power and redirect it to his own advantage. Having also beaten Carlos Alcaraz (in the Rio de Janeiro final) during his current winning streak, the No. 12-ranked Norrie will aim to maintain his form against the free-hitting Tiafoe. Yet the American is confident he can give the home fans something to cheer in the opening act of Wednesday’s Stadium 1 schedule,
“We’re both in totally different places in our careers than last time we played,” said Tiafoe. “He’s playing some of the best tennis of his life and so am I. It should be a great show, and I’m going to be coming for him.”
In Doubles Action…
The doubles quarter-final action also kicks off on Wednesday, when defending champions John Isner and Jack Sock seek to improve on their 10-1 record as a team in Indian Wells against Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.
The American duo lifted the title in 2018 as well as last year in the California desert, and Sock has defeated Bolelli and Fognini in Tennis Paradise before — alongside Vasek Pospisil in the 2015 championship match.
In the final match of the day on Stadium 2, Doha champions Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden take on Canadian singles stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov. Of the four, only Bopanna has reached the semi-finals in Indian Wells before (in 2011).