New York (AFP)

The Indian Wells tournament had two new surprises in store for Friday, with the quarter-final defeats of Stefanos Tsitsipas, 3rd player in the world, and Alexander Zverev, 4th in the world, while in the ladies, the final will pit Victoria Azarenka against Paula Badosa .

The Californian tournament thus lost its three men's seeds with the defeat two days earlier of Russian Daniil Medvedev (2nd in the world).

Zverev, Olympic champion in Tokyo, was beaten by the American Taylor Fritz (39th in the world) in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), in a game of twists that lasted 2h20.

Fritz started the game well before suffering in the second set and saving two match points at 5-3 in the last set.

The 23-year-old finally won the tie-break with a beautiful cross forehand.

"This loss hurts because after Stefanos (Tsistipas) lost this morning, I was the tournament favorite. But my tennis just wasn't there today," Zverev lamented after the game.

"It was not my day. I was close to victory but we have to pay tribute to Fritz. He had a great game and deserves to be in the semi-finals."

- Basilashvili "not surprised" -

Fritz, winner of his first tournament in 2019 in Eastbourne, England, will face Nikoloz Basilashvili (29th) in the semi-finals.

Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, after his victory in the Indian Wells Masters 1000 quarter-final against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, October 15, 2021 MATTHEW STOCKMAN GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

The Georgian also created a surprise earlier in the day by landing for the first time in three meetings of Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

Tsitsipas however managed 10 aces in the match, but committed two double faults and made too many mistakes during the 2h10 match.

Basilashvili meanwhile won four of the last five games in the third round.

The 29-year-old, winner of the Munich tournament this year, also made it to the final in Doha after having notably taken out the Swiss Roger Federer (9th) in the quarter-finals.

"I'm not surprised. I've been playing good tennis for a while, especially in training," said the Georgian after the game.

"I've improved my serve a lot recently. That's why I'm in the semi-finals."

The other men's semi-final will oppose on Saturday the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (28th), striker of the Polish Hubert Hurkacz (12th), to the Briton Cameron Norrie, winner of the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman (15th).

- Azarenka for a 3rd title -

Among women, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka (32nd player in the world) qualified for her third final of the Californian tournament, which she has already won twice (2012 and 2016), after a victory against Belarusian Jelena Ostapenko ( 29th world) in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.


The 32-year-old player, finalist of the US Open in 2020, will face the Spanish Paula Badosa (27th) in the final on Sunday, who for his part dominated the Tunisian Ons Jabeur in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

The 23-year-old, who won the Belgrade tournament this year, her first on the WTA tour, outclassed Jabeur, who was higher ranked (14th) and among the most consistent this season with 48 wins in 2021.

Her task will be complicated against Azarenka, two-time Australian Open champion, who is still looking for her first tournament victory in 2021, having won 21 titles on the circuit during her career.

© 2021 AFP

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