(Indian Wells) Daniil Medvedev, despite a twisted ankle, reached the quarter-finals for the first time in Indian Wells, joined by other favorite Carlos Alcaraz, who did not have to provide an effort, Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka also being there on Tuesday.
It was with courage and adrenaline that the Russian (6th in the world) overcame the pain of his injury, which occurred on a break point in his favor, at 3-2 in the second set, to finally overthrow 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 the German Alexander Zverev (14th).
On a press, his ankle rotated “quite violently” inward, then outward. “I was like, ‘OK, I’ll get up, I’ll be fine. And then I stayed on the ground because the pain was mounting. I then thought it was better for me to quit,” Medvedev said afterwards.
Treated by the physio, he finally found the strength to continue. “What was surprising was that it was easier for me to run than to walk. I limped, when I walked, but I could move pretty well, probably 95%, although I had cramps at the end. »
The winner of the US Open 2021 thus won his 17th victory in a row, also relying on rediscovered tennis. The one that allowed him to win consecutively in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai in February.
“Now that the adrenaline is down, it’s pumped up a lot. I can’t walk properly. It’s quite painful, but nothing too bad, I hope. If all goes well, I’ll bandage my ankle tomorrow, take a painkiller and go play,” concluded the Russian, who is due to face Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich (28th).
Carlos Alcaraz only spent 46 minutes on the court, as his opponent, Jack Draper (56th), was forced to retire due to an abdominal injury, at 6-1, 2-0.
“It’s a shame that Jack has to step down. Nobody wants to win that way. The most important thing is to be healthy and I think he did well,” commented the Spaniard.
Semi-finalist last year, the prodigy from Murcia obviously aims better. Especially since winning the tournament would allow him to return to the world throne, occupied by Novak Djokovic, absent because not vaccinated against COVID-19.
“More than becoming number one again, what I expect above all is to win the title. It’s a tournament that I love and winning here would be wonderful, “said the Spaniard, who will have Félix Auger-Aliassime (10th) on his way in the quarterfinals. The Canadian saved six match points against American Tommy Paul (19th), before winning 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6).
For his part, Cameron Norrie did not go into detail to unbolt Andrey Rublev, semi-finalist last year. Aggressive and sharp, the Briton (12th) won 6-2, 6-4 and will face the American Frances Tiafoe (16th).
The defending champion, Taylor Fritz (5th), was barely less expeditious to get rid of Hungarian Marton Fucsovics (84th) 6-4, 6-3. His next rival will be the Italian Jannik Sinner (13th), who ended the run of Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka (100th) 6-1, 6-4.
Among the women, Iga Swiatek showed a conquering face against Emma Raducanu (77th), who had preceded her on the US Open list in 2021, winning 6-3, 6-1 in 1:24.
Unlike the day before against Bianca Andreescu, the 21-year-old Polish, in search of a double that only Martina Navratilova managed in 1991-1992, did not betray nervousness in a one-sided match where her sharp game been relentless.
“Glad to have been positive and disciplined”, she will be opposed to the Romanian Sorana Cirstea (83rd), who fell 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 the French Caroline Garcia (5th).
The Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (2nd), winner of the Australian Open, for her part had to work to dismiss the Czech Barbora Krejcikova (16th) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. She will face American Coco Gauff, who fell 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 from Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson (103rd).
Finalist last year, Maria Sakkari (7th) also lost a round against Karolina Pliskova (17th), winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. She will face another Czech, Petra Kvitova (15th), faller after the suspense 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (13/11) from the American Jessica Pegula (3rd).