Not too long ago, it seemed like Daniil Medvedev was struggling to find his form.
The former World Tennis No. 1 had a hernia surgery about a year ago and never really found any rhythm in the 2022 season from that point on.
He was eliminated in the fourth round of the French Open, was banned from Wimbledon and then lost in the fourth round of the US Open to Nick Kyrgios, who defeated him in the opening round of the Cincinnati Masters a few weeks before that.
At the end of 2022, Medvedev dropped to No. 7, which was a disappointment considering where his game was at to start the season.
Things continued to look rocky for the 27-year-old Russian at the beginning of 2023, too.
Medvedev lost in the semifinals of his first event and then got upset by Sebastian Korda in Round 3 of the Australian Open. The result pushed Medvedev outside of the top 10.
Daniil Medvedev vs. Frances Tiafoe pick
Perhaps that’s all the motivation Medvedev needed, as he’s run absolutely riot since the Aussie.
Not only has Medvedev won three straight tournaments (Rotterdam, Qatar and Dubai), but he only dropped three sets in that span.
Even more impressive is the caliber of players that Medvedev has defeated over the past six weeks.
In that timeframe he owns wins over Djokovic, Andrey Rublev, Jannik Sinner, Andy Murray, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Sascha Zverev (twice).
Even with Medvedev in terrific form, there were questions about how fresh he would be entering Indian Wells, the biggest non-major event of the season.
The 2021 US Open champion has answered that question with a run to the semifinals, where he’ll be a favorite over American Frances Tiafoe.
Tiafoe’s 2023 performance has been a bit all over the place, but the Maryland native has seemingly found his game in Indian Wells.
Tiafoe’s path hasn’t been especially difficult, he did beat Cam Norrie in the quarterfinals and has not dropped a single set in the tournament.
Tiafoe, too, has answered some questions at the first Masters 100 event of the year.
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Medvedev is 4-0 against Tiafoe, but they haven’t played since 2021 and the American is clearly at another level compared to where he was back then.
Tiafoe seems to raise his game at the big moments and should be the fresher of the two players in this encounter.
A play on Tiafoe to win the first set seems an interesting proposition, but a more pragmatic option is the game to go over 2.5 sets at +140.
Medvedev has been brilliant for weeks now, but he has dropped a couple of sets at Indian Wells and Tiafoe has the level to cause the Russian some problems.
This could be a classic.
Daniil Medvedev vs. Frances Tiafoe prediction
Over 2.5 sets (+148, FanDuel)