Frances Tiafoe defeated 10th seed Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.
The 14th-seeded American ended the 2021 champion’s eight-match winning streak to win his first semi-place finish at a Masters 1000 tournament.
“Super happy about today,” Tiafoe said on court. “I’ve been playing very well all week. Keep going so”.
Tiafoe hit 22 winners and had just nine unforced errors. He punctuated the victory, which was briefly interrupted by rain, by serving up a love game.
“I played very fast, very close to the baseline and I was putting a lot of pressure on him,” Tiafoe said. “I didn’t allow him to extend points and he was being super active with my feet, being very aggressive.”
Tiafoe has not dropped a set in four matches during the tournament. Next, he will play No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, who defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 7-5.
Medvedev won his 18th straight match and improved to 23-2 this year. He injured his right ankle in a three-set win over Alexander Zverev a day earlier.
“When I warmed up it hurt a lot,” Medvedev said. “But I knew I was going to play.”
But his problems were not over. He fell on the court and cut his thumb open in the sixth game of the second set. The cut was bandaged during a medical waiting time.
Medvedev broke Davidovich Fokina at love to go up 6-5 before serving out the win. Medvedev won 12 of the last 14 points.
On the women’s side, No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka won the last seven games of the match by defeating sixth seed Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.
No. 7 Maria Sakkari defeated 15th seed 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 her four days to come down from winning her first major.
“Right after the title, we went back to the hotel and my whole team was drunk,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t know how many liters they drink that day. There was the funniest and most memorable moment. Everyone was so stressed during those weeks, I think it was normal to have a drink. I did not 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 giving away free points as well and not hitting the ball as deep as I needed to,” Gauff said. “Especially when you play against her, you have to get the ball deep.”