It is semi-final day at the ATP Indian Wells competition on Saturday with both matches coming along in what looks like being a cracking session of play at the BNP Paribas Open. By the end of it we’ll know the two finalists of the first Masters 1000 event of the season.
We have two standout stars looking to make it through to the final in either semi-final but a young buck and a fast improving player are out to deny the big names the chance of that happening. Saturday is set up to be sizzling on the court.
Daniil Medvedev vs Frances Tiafoe
The opening semi-final on Saturday sees the Russian star Daniil Medvedev looking to make it into a fourth straight final when he takes on the one remaining home player in either singles draw in US Open semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe.
Medvedev continues to make it clear that he has no time for conditions in Indian Wells but he also continues to make it through to the next round. He will appear in his first semi-final in this event and he will be a warm favourite to see off a Frances Tiafoe who is a level below him in the game. Tiafoe should merit some respect though because Cameron Norrie was playing some good ball and the American blew him away in the previous match and having had a couple of days off since then there will certainly be no physical issues here. Where Tiafoe has a problem is the head to head. He is 4-0 down and he’s only won one set against Medvedev. Conditions will be slow enough to keep Tiafoe in the points but whether he can keep the errors off his racquet is a different thing entirely. I expect Medvedev to be too good once again but I can’t be backing a player who clearly hates conditions as much as he is showing, especially at cramped odds.
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Carlos Alcaraz vs Jannik Sinner
The pick of the semi-finals on Saturday would appear on paper to be the second one when the potential world number one in waiting Carlos Alcaraz takes on a man tipped to land that position in the rankings one day in Jannik Sinner.
Both men overcame good opponents on Thursday to reach this semi-final and both were hitting the ball fantastically well in those matches and if they are in that form here then this should be some contest between two of the most exciting young players in the game right now. Alcaraz has looked imperious this week but he seems to struggle to deal with Sinner if their past meetings are anything to go by. They are 2-2 in their career meetings at ATP level with Alcaraz winning 76 75 in Paris in 2021 while Sinner won in four sets at Wimbledon last year and 67 61 61 in the Umag final in 2022. Their most recent meeting came at the US Open in September when Alcaraz won a classic in a deciding set. The way these two are hitting the ball right now I expect there to be little between these two. Alcaraz probably has the edge but there was so much to like about the in game tactical switches that Sinner produced in his quarter final win over Taylor Fritz. I like over 22.5 games here. It has landed in all their previous meetings and I see nothing to suggest it doesn’t land here.
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