Boris Becker praises 'warriors' Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 2176
Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev pushed each other to the limit in the Indian Wells fourth round. Two great rivals stayed on the court for three hours and 17 minutes, and an in-form Russian prevailed 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 to advance into the quarter-final.
A six-time Major champion Boris Becker praised two "warriors" and their mutual respect after the duel. Daniil had quite a ride on Stadium 1, injuring his right ankle in the second set and saying the worst possible things about the surface.
However, he stayed calm in the second set's opening stages and at the end of the clash to emerge at the top and reach his first Indian Wells quarter-final. The Russian defended 15 out of 17 break points and stole the German's serve three times to prevail and extend his winning streak.
Medvedev fired 35 service winners and landed 40 winners and unforced errors. Zverev gave his everything and stood three points away from victory in the second set's tie break.
Boris Becker praised Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev.
However, it was not to be for him, losing it 7-5 and giving serve away twice in the decider to experience another tough defeat. The Russian had the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, and the German stayed in touch in the mid-range and most advanced rallies to stay competitive until the end.
Zverev drew first blood with a break in the encounter's fourth game for 3-1 after a volley winner at the net. He got broken in the next game to bring Medvedev back to the positive side. They stayed neck and neck until the 12th game when Alexander earned three set points on the return.
Medvedev remained calm and rattled off five points in a row to introduce a tie break. Daniil sprayed a forehand error in the tenth point to fall 6-4 behind and face two set points. Alexander converted the second with a serve & volley combo that earned the set for him after 62 minutes.
Medvedev dug deep at the beginning of the second set, trailing 40-0 in games one and three and fending off nine break points! To make things even worse, Daniil injured his right ankle in the sixth game, received a medical timeout and continued.
The Russian saved a break point in game seven, and they both served well in the remaining five games to introduce another tie break. Daniil won four points behind the initial shot and grabbed an early mini-break for a 5-3 lead.
Medvedev clinched it 7-5 with a volley winner at the net to present a decider after two hours and 22 minutes. With a boost, the Russian broke in the third game and produced four comfortable holds for a 5-3 advantage. Alexander held in game nine to prolong the battle and broke back in the last moment after fending off a match point to lock the result at 5-5.
Zverev wasted a game point in game 11 and hit a costly double fault to experience the crucial break of serve. Medvedev served for the victory at 6-5 and held at love to emerge at the top and reach his first quarter-final in the desert.