Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz advance to the Indian Wells final

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Daniil Medvedev defeated Frances Tiafoe 7-5, 7-6 (4) on Saturday for his 19th consecutive game win of the year and a place in the BNP Paribas Open final.

Medvedev will play for the title against top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday, who defeated No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Alcaraz must win the title on Sunday to win back the number 1 in the world ranking from Novak Djokovic. The Serb, a five-time Indian Wells champion, withdrew before the tournament started after being banned from entering the US for not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

The fifth seed, Medvedev continued his dominance over Tiafoe, winning all five of their career meetings, including 12 of 13 sets in the process.

“In general, I played at a really good level, but if I didn’t win this game, I would have nightmares for a long time with all the chances I got,” Medvedev said in a TV interview on court after the game. . “Like six or seven match points and two times [I was] serve for the game. But I’m happy to win. Now I can sleep well tonight and prepare for tomorrow.”

Medvedev’s winning streak dates back to his title run in Rotterdam in February. Then he won tournaments in Doha and Dubai. Now the 2021 US Open champion and former world No. 1 is poised to add another title.

Medvedev has shown resilience during the 12-day tournament in the Southern California desert. He overcame a badly twisted ankle and cut thumb in two consecutive games to advance to the finals.

Alcaraz only played Medvedev once, in the second round at Wimbledon in 2021. Medvedev won in three sets. Alcaraz said his main concern with the 6-foot-6 Medvedev is his height.

“He’s really, really tall, you know,” said Alcaraz, who is six feet tall. “What can I say? I think he only lost one game this year. He has a great streak of wins and it will be a very difficult challenge for me to play against him tomorrow. I’m going to enjoy the final and let’s see what happens.”

Last year, Alcaraz won the Miami Open and the US Open. On Sunday he can win the third of the three major American tournaments. After winning his first Grand Slam title in New York, 19-year-old Alcaraz became the youngest men’s No. 1 in history. He relinquished the No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic in January.

Alcaraz won on Saturday based on his first serves (he made 72% of them, compared to 50% for Sinner), creative play and his ability to move Sinner around the court and take over his opponent’s pace.

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the women’s doubles with a 6-1, 6-7(3), 10-7 victory over Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil and Laura Siegemund of Germany.

The Czech duo improved to 11-0 this year after winning the Australian Open championship in January. They split $436,730 in prize money.

ESPN’s Alyssa Roenigk and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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