The tournament of upsets continues to become wittier for many as Tsitsipas and Zverev are knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Indian Wells.
Nikoloz Basilashvili hunts Tsitsipas to reach SF of Indian Wells.
French Open runner-up Tsitsipas was seeded second, started in sluggish fashion as he dropped the opening set, managing just eight winners to Basilashvili’s 14.
Nikoloz Basilashvili sprung a surprise at the Indian Wells Masters, securing the most significant win of his career with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 upset of World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas reaching his first ATP 1000 masters semifinals.
The Georgian who was competing in his first-ever Masters 1000 quarter-final, delivered an extraordinary performance as he spelled Tsitsipas problems with his powerful groundstrokes from the baseline, fighting hard in the third set to advance after two hours and nine minutes hustle.
“I have played really great matches this tournament,” Basilashvili said. “I was not that happy with how I played today but I was happy with how I managed my stress levels. First time in the quarter-finals and it is a big court and Stefanos is a super tough player. I had to keep my physical levels and energy levels in really good shape because I knew mentally I would be a little bit tight and stressed.”
With this victory, The Georgian has managed to cut the deficit to 1-2 in his ATP Head2Head stats against Tsitsipas. Before this year, Basilashvili had never won a main-draw match in Indian Wells in four previous appearances. The 29-year-old will now face America’s Taylor Fritz in the semis for a place in the final.
“I have spent a lot of time working hard,” Basilashvili added. “I have been playing really well. For me to overcome stressful moments I am really happy. I also found it here that the conditions don’t suit my game because the balls fly a lot, but this year I am playing well.”
In a lively first set, Basilashvili made a fast start as he broke in the opening game, causing Tsitsipas problems with his powerful groundstrokes. The Georgian controlled the tempo of the match, notching 14 winners in the first set as Tsitsipas struggled to find his rhythm from the baseline.
In the first set, the Georgian gained momentum smashing 14 winners as the Greek struggled from the baseline. However, Stefanos Tsitsipas started to gain rhythm in the second set to dominate a soaked up Basilashvili in the longer rallies. The 23-year-old did not face a breakpoint on his serve as he leveled.
After breaks were exchanged in the third set, Basilashvili produced a strong return game and was gifted the lead when Tsitsipas double-faulted on break to move 4-3 ahead. From there, the Georgian kept his composure, fending off pressure from Tsitsipas to hold serve twice to advance.
Although the third set started with exchanging the breaks, Basilashvili produced a strong game while Tsitsipas double-faulted on break to gift 4-3 to his opponent. It was then just a matter of handling the pressure which Basilashvili fended off nicely.
Tsitsipas was aiming to reach his third consecutive Masters 1000 semi-final in North America, having enjoyed a run to the last four in Toronto and Cincinnati. The Monte-Carlo champion has earned a tour-leading 54 victories this season.
Taylor Fritz gets Zverev in his tracks.
Continuing his breakthrough run at Indian Wells, Taylor Fritz saving two match points secured his second Top 5 win of his career to reach his maiden ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.
The American rallied from a 2-5 down in the decider and saved two match points at 3-5, 30/40 and 4-5, 30/40 to upset World No. 4 Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) after two hours and 22 minutes in Indian Wells.
The American from 2-5 down navigated his way back in the decider to upset the World No. 4 Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) taking two hours and 22 minutes.
“I was really down and out but I found a way to put myself into it,” Fritz said in his on-court interview. “I really wanted to make him have to close me out and I was able to get back into the match. Normally you would be so nervous in those situations and in the third set tie-break, but I felt so confident being aggressive, going after my game. It feels really great to play well with the pressure on.”
Coming from a hot start to his Indian Wells campaign beating Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner, The 31st seed, was aggressive against the German, firing 36 winners in his quest.
The German now only leads Fritz 3-2 in their ATP Head2Head series and will face Basilashvili, who also upset Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier.
“The biggest thing was match point down, I wanted to make him serve it out, so I just fought as hard as I could to hold that game,” Fritz said. “Then I got fortunate in his service game and from there I felt in control and felt really good under the pressure.
“It is amazing. Especially the way that match ended with such high emotions with the crowd. The crowd was amazing and it is a dream come true.”
The Homeboy is having his fifth journey in Indian Wells, in which earlier he only got to the fourth round. Fritz’s only other Top 5 win came against then-World No. 5 Dominic Thiem at the Laver Cup in 2019.
The 23-year-old has reached the semi-finals in Doha, Cagliari, and Los Cabos. Fritz will try to avenge his Doha defeat to Basilashvili when they meet on Saturday.
After breaks were exchanged at the start of the first set, with Zverev double-faulting to drop serve, the German began to take control with his consistent deep groundstrokes. The World No. 4 committed just six unforced errors in the set to move ahead.
Fritz altered his tactics in the second set and started to play aggressively as he blasted 13 winners from all areas of the court, overpowering Zverev to march 4-1 ahead. After Fritz sealed the set on his serve, Zverev regained momentum in the decider as he continued to soak up the 31st seed’s power. The American’s level slightly dipped in the third set and after Zverev broke early, he was able to put his foot down and roar into a 5-2 lead.
However, the German’s second serve abandoned him when he was trying to serve out the match. Zverev struck two double faults as Fritz broke back. After moving to a tie-break, the American found his best tennis to prevail in a tight match.