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Carlos Alcaraz will face Daniil Medvedev in the final of the BNP Paribas Open

Carlos Alcaraz defeated jannik sinner 7-6 (4), 6-3 on Saturday to advance to the Open BNP Paribas Final against Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev defeated Frances Tiafoe 7-5, 7-6(4) on her eighth match point for her 19th straight win of the year.

Alcaraz needs to win the title on Sunday to regain the world number 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic. The Serb, a five-time Indian Wells champion, withdrew before he started the tournament after he was not allowed to enter the US because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Alcaraz and 11th-seeded Sinner had split their previous four meetings, with Alcaraz winning both matches on hard courts.

“Jannik is a great player and he pushes me to improve and makes me play at a high level,” Alcaraz said. “I’m very happy with the level I played and the way I overcame the problem, I saved a set point in the first set.”

Alcaraz never faced a break point against Sinner, who hit just 48% of her first serves and 19 of 36 serve points in the second set. He trailed 3-0 in the second set.

“I didn’t serve well today, which made the biggest difference,” Sinner said. “In the baseline rallies I felt good, I had my chances, especially in the first set. But today he played the important points better than me, so he deserved to win.”

Alacarz had 28 winners and 14 unforced errors.

Medvedev, the fifth seed, has dominated Tiafoe, winning all five of their career meetings, including 12 of 13 sets in the process.

But the 14th-seeded American put up a valiant fight, saving seven match points in the second set before succumbing.

“If I didn’t win this match, I think I would have nightmares for a long time. I would not sleep well tonight and a few more nights,” Medvedev said on court.

Daniil Medvedev hits a return during his win over Frances Tiafoe at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.

(Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

Tiafoe regularly charged the net to counter Medvedev’s powerful baseline play. He saved three break points and held serve until game 11 of the first set. But Medvedev hit a forehand winner from the net to go up 6-5 and then took out the set.

Tiafoe saved three match points while serving at 5-3 in the second. Medvedev racked up four more match points as he served for the match leading 6-5, but was unable to collect until the tiebreaker.

“That makes me even happier mentally that we managed to win,” said Medvedev, “because you try to play a tiebreaker when you just lost seven match points. I managed to get off to a good start right away making great shots and great rallies.”

Medvedev had 30 winners and just nine unforced errors.

Medvedev’s 19-match winning streak dates back to his title run in Rotterdam in February. He later won tournaments in Doha and Dubai. Now the 2021 US Open champion and former world number 1 is in a position to add another.

Medvedev has proven resilient during the 12-day tournament in the desert. He overcame a badly sprained ankle and a cut thumb in two straight matches to reach the final.

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the women’s doubles title with a 6-1, 6-7(3), 10-7 victory over Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil and Laura Siegemund of Germany.

The Czech duo improved to 11-0 this year, having won the Australian Open championship in January. $436,730 in prizes were distributed.