ATP Indian Wells: Gael Monfils beats and dethrones Daniil Medvedev

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ATP Indian Wells: Gael Monfils beats and dethrones Daniil Medvedev

World no. 28 Gael Monfils is through to the fourth round in Indian Wells following a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over world no. 1 Daniil Medvedev. The Frenchman ousted the Russian in two hours and six minutes, beating him for the second straight time and sending Daniil away from the ATP throne after only three weeks.

Medvedev is yet to perform his best tennis in the desert, heading to Indian Wells for his first tournament as the world's leading player and failing to reach the quarter-final and keep Novak Djokovic behind. Monfils took charge from set number two, winning seven points more and defending five out of seven break chances.

With nothing working his way, Daniil landed 50% of the first serve in and got broken five times from 14 opportunities given to his opponent in sets two and three. Thus, Gael scored the second victory over world no. 1, over 13 years after beating Rafael Nadal in Doha 2009.

Gael Monfils defeated Daniil Medvedev from a set down in Indian Wells.

The Frenchman forged the advantage in the shortest and mid-range exchanges. He tamed his strokes nicely and pushed the opponent to the limits after the opener to emerge at the top.

Monfils forced Medvedev's mistake in the opener's third game before Daniil held at 15 to lock the result at 2-2. In game five, Gael survived the first test, overcoming a 30-0 deficit and wrapping up four straight points when his rival placed a forehand long.

Medvedev had a chance in game seven but did not play a good shot at the net. The Russian claimed game eight and broke at love following Monfils' wild forehand in the next one. Monfils saved a break chance at the beginning of the second set and held at love in game three for 2-1.

The Frenchman placed a backhand return winner in the fourth game to deliver his first break and move 3-1 ahead. Serving in game five, Monfils fended off four break chances before Medvedev seized the fifth to reduce the deficit.

Daniil fired a forehand winner in game six to lock the result at 3-3, looking good to seal the deal in straight sets. Suddenly, the Frenchman stroke a forehand down the line winner in game eight to grab a break and open a 5-3 gap.

Serving for the set in game nine, Gael seized a set point with an underarm serve to introduce a decider. With momentum on his side, the Frenchman broke world no. 1 three times for 6-1 and a massive victory that propelled him into the last 16.