Big stars like Djokovic, Nadal and Federer sent their cats to Indian Wells after a tough season. After eliminating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals, Alexander Zverev was the favorite.
In the third set in front of Taylor Fritz 5-2, the Olympic champion was already loudly dreaming of the overall victory. But a trapped cat makes weird leaps. Fritz cleared two match points at 5-3 5-4 and completely stunned Zverev in the tiebreak.
For the 23-year-old American, it was the biggest win of his career. “I’ve never achieved that goal in a major tournament,” he beamed. “This is by far the best victory for me.”
In the semi-finals, Fritz (ATP 39) will compete against Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili (ATP 36), who eliminated Tsitsipas. In the other semi-finals, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (ATP 28) will meet Britain’s Cameron Nouri (ATP 26).
For example, for the first time, none of the top 25 players reached the semi-finals of the Masters 1000.
Zverev, ranked 4 in the world, was well aware that he missed a great opportunity. “It hurts because I was the favorite after defeating Tsitsipas,” the German said. “But tennis wasn’t good enough.”
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