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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday March 14, 2023

Taylor Fritz

Taylor Fritz continued his torrid play at Indian Wells, and Frances Tiafoe also advanced.

Photo Source: Getty.

Not surprisingly, the 2023 BNP Paribas Open has been a good event for the American men. But it could have been better.

Tennis Express

Defending champion Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe booked their spots in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, making it two men from the U.S. into the last eight in the same year for the first time since James Blake and Mardy Fish did the trick in 2008.

Fritz continued to dominate Stadium 1, winning for the ninth consecutive time at Indian Wells, 6-4, 6-3 over Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics. Tiafoe also was a straight-sets winner, 6-4, 6-4 over Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo.

The Americans were nearly joined by Tommy Paul, which would have made it three in the last eight for the first time since 2004, but Felix Auger-Aliassime rained on that parade, saving six match points to outlast Paul in the last match of the evening on Stadium 2.

It was a great escape by the Canadian, who rallied from a set down to force a decider then rallied from 3-0 down in the third set to get back on even terms.

But Paul continued probing, looking for the victory. The American earned three match points with Auger-Aliassime serving at 5-6, 0-40.

After the Canadian took a 3-1 lead in the ensuing final-set tiebreak, Paul reeled off five consecutive points to earn another three match points. Auger-Aliassime rose to that challenge as well, taking the final five points to lock down a remarkable triumph.

"I always stayed positive, I kept my hopes up, I kept thinking, 'OK, I'm not that far, I can come back,'" Auger-Aliassime said of his miracle finish. "At the end, when you're down 0-40 on your serve, you know that... 'OK if I win this first one, serve well, then again, then again, we're back on even terms.' You just kind of take it one by one.”

Auger-Aliassime will next face top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz, who advanced when Jack Draper was forced to retire with an abdominal injury while trailing 6-2, 2-0. The Canadian holds a 3-0 edge over Auger-Aliassime, with wins over the Spaniard at the 2021 US Open (via retirement), 2022 Davis Cup and 2022 Basel.

Fritz, who has 13 of 14 at Indian Wells, will face Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals – Sinner finished off Stan Wawrinka on Tuesday night, 6-1, 6-4.

Fritz and Auger-Aliassime will have a day off until their quarterfinals on Thursday.

Tiafoe will take on Cameron Norrie, while Daniil Medvedev will face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the other two quarterfinals, to be played on Wednesday.


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