Daniil Medvedev continues his great wins streak, achieving the 17th victory in a row in an absolute thriller played against Alexander Zverev. Medvedev advanced into quarterfinals after 3:10 hours of battle, staying under the sign of big emotions, great strikes, momentum switches, drama and injury concernes for the Russian who won the match despite rolling the ankle in second set.
Medvedev was a clear pre-match favorite, but the name of Zverev does also foreshadow the big tennis quality and emotions, even despite the German is not yet fully fit after his horrific injury suffered in last year's Roland Garros. Zverev was on the front foot in opening set, but could not capitalize on his advantage. He broke Mededev in 3rd game, but his opponent leveled the score a while after it. Zverev had 3 breakpoints on Medvedev's serve in 12th game, but the world's number 6 cleared out the danger with a style. Zverev did not give up and won the tie-break with a score 7-5. It was not a good time for Medvedev, who has faced the fear of losing his winning streak more than any time earlier in recent weeks. He was complaining for the surface on-court, calling it as being too slow for the hard-court standards. He needed to defend as many as 9 (!) breakpoints in first two service games in second set, but held both of it somehow. Then, the biggest concerns happened, as Medvedev felt like rolling his ankle. He called the medical time-out, being worried if continuing the play is safe enough. While struggling with the pain, the US Open 2021 champion started to use more direct solutions in his game. He managed to hold all the services till the tie-break, won by him 7-5, which forced the third set. Medvedev was up a break since 3rd game there and had even a matchpoint while serving in 10th game, but Zverev stayed alive in this match. Not for a long time, as he lost the following game and Medevedev did not fail to serve out the victory in 12th game, sealing the quarterfinals place with a score 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-5. This match is a big candidate for the best spectacle on men's side in this year's BNP Paribas Open. The Russian will face Alejando Davidovich Fokina in QFs. The Spaniard earned his quarters place after defeating Cristian Garin 6-3 6-4.
Medvedev commented his injury issue in post-match interview: "When I twisted the ankle, I thought I was going to stand up just fine. But then the pain started growing very fast, so I was thinking, that is not a good sign. I felt like I did not break it but I felt that one of the ligaments was a little injured, so I thought I was not 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."
Cameron Norrie continues his good season so far, reaching out the Indian Wells quarters, right after winning the ATP 500 tournament in Rio De Janeiro. The best ranked Brit defeated Andrey Rublev in surprisingly comfortable manner. Norrie won 6-2 6-4, eliminated the Russian who was a pre-match favorite in just 76 minutes, showing really comprehensive performance in general. Frances Tiafoe will be Norrie's QFs opponent after confident win against the qualifier Alejandro Tabilo with a score 6-4 6-4.
Felix Auger Aliassime and Tommy Paul delivered the best spectacle of all top-half's Round of 16 matches. The Canadian and current Australian Open finalist approached the third set after sharing first two ones with a scores 6-3. The decider was a huge disappointment for the American. Paul was leading 3-0 with a single break advantage, but FAA leveled the score. The local's favorite produced 3 matchpoint during his opponent's serve in 12th game, but Auger Aliassime cleared the danger by winning 5 points in a row and forcing the decisive tiebreak. Then, Paul moved into 6-3 lead with a mini-break advantage and earned another 3 matchpoints. The Canadian came out of scary again, winning last 5 points of the tie-break and won the match with a score 3-6 6-3 7-6(8). From all of the matchpoints for the world's number 19, only one was played under Paul's serve, but losing the match after this amount of chances can surely hurt for a while.
"I always stayed positive, I kept my hopes up, I kept thinking - 'Ok, I am not that far, I can come back. At the end, when you are down 0-40 on your serve, you know that you win this first one, serve well, then again, then again, we are back on even terms again." - said Auger Aliassime, asked about the attitude which helped him to achieve this great come-back, during the post-match interview.
Taylor Fritz vs Jannik Sinner is another exciting quarterfinal pairing in the top half. Both seeds made their job done in a style on Tuesday. Fritz defeated Marton Fucsovics 6-4 6-3, while Sinner gave no chances for Stan Wawrinka, eliminating the experienced Swiss with a score 6-4 6-1.
Here are the ATP highlights from Round of 16: