Frances Tiafoe defeated 10th-seeded Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 Wednesday to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open. (More Tennis News)
The 14th-seeded American ended the 2021 champion’s eight-match winning streak to earn his first semis berth in a Masters 1000 tournament.
“Super happy about today,” Tiafoe said on court. “I’ve been playing really well all week. Let’s keep it going.”
Tiafoe hit 22 winners and had just nine unforced errors. He punctuated the victory, which was briefly interrupted by rain, by serving a love game.
“I played really quick, really close to the baseline and I was pressuring him a lot,” Tiafoe said. “I didn’t allow him to extend points and I was being super active with my feet, being really aggressive.”
Tiafoe hasn’t dropped a set in four matches during the tournament. Next, he’ll play No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, who beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 7-5.
Medvedev won his 18th consecutive match and improved to 23-2 this year. He hurt his right ankle in a three-set win over Alexander Zverev a day earlier.
“When I warmed up it was hurting pretty bad,” Medvedev said. “But I knew I was going to play.”
But his woes weren’t over. He fell on the court and opened a cut on his thumb in the sixth game of the second set. The cut was bandaged during a medical timeout.
Medvedev broke Davidovich Fokina at love to go up 6-5 before serving out the victory. Medvedev won 12 of the last 14 points.
On the women’s side, No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka won the final seven games of the match in defeating sixth-seeded Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.
No. 7 Maria Sakkari outlasted 15th-seeded Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Sabalenka improved to 16-1 this year, including her run to the Australian Open title. She said it took four days to come down from the high of winning her first major.
“Like straight after the title, we went back to the hotel and all my team was drunk,” she said, laughing. “I don’t know how many liters they drink that day. There was the most funny and memorable moment. Everyone was so stressed during that weeks, I think it was normal to have a little drink. I didn’t drink.”
Gauff earned just nine return points and had no break points against Sabalenka.
“She didn’t give me any free points and I think I was also giving away free points and not hitting the ball as deep as I need to,” Gauff said. “Especially when you’re playing her, you’ve got to get the ball deep.”