Frances Tiafoe out to test injured Daniil Medvedev

Frances Tiafoe Laver Cup

Frances Tiafoe is determined to make Daniil Medvedev work if he wants to reach the Indian Wells final and keep his winning streak going.

Medvedev cut open his thumb during his quarter-final win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in a nasty-looking incident.

He admitted that he will have to take medical advice on how to approach playing with the stitched up wound.

“I absolutely cut it open. It was like fully open,” said Medvedev, who twice required treatment to stop the bleeding.

“I never cut myself with a knife even like this because I don’t cook much. Now it’s getting black. I don’t know if it’s a good sign.

“The question is going to be whether I tape [my fingers] for the match or not,” Medvedev later added. “But that’s not a big problem, because I managed to play well with the tape today. A lot of players tape their fingers and manage to play well, so I’m going to be able to do it also.”

Before arriving at Indian Wells, Medvedev was already in excellent form, winning tour-level championships in Rotterdam, Doha, and Dubai. If the World No 6 wins his fourth straight championship this weekend, he will have 20 victories under his belt, which would tie his career-best winning streak.

He will be concentrating on American upstart Tiafoe as he looks to build on a 4-0 advantage in their head to head series. Nonetheless, the 25-year-old Tiafoe enters the match with a lot of self-assurance after reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal without dropping a set. He will try to breach Medvedev’s impenetrable defense with his powerful serve and equally devastating forehand.

Tiafoe has set out his stall to test the fitness of Medvedev in every way.

“I am able to take the racquet out of players’ hands,” Tiafoe said following his quarter-final win over Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie.

“I am crafty, I can move. I stay in the points and don’t give away too many free points. I have grown as a player tremendously and it is showing. I am really happy with my progress.”

If Tiafoe wants to surprise Medvedev, he must perform at his peak. Although Indian Wells’ slow playing conditions have not been enjoyable for the Russian fifth seed, he has found a way to keep winning, anchoring himself behind the baseline during his march to the final four, before to turning the tables with his flat forehand. Medvedev has used his great reach to his advantage time and again.

Tiafoe will try to use his court smarts to break Medvedev’s rhythm with his dynamic game. In order to take advantage of Medvedev’s position deep in the court, he will try to charge the net and step into the court while using his powerful forehand to smash a variety of angles.

Tiafoe will try to become the second consecutive American to make it to the Indian Wells final.

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