In fifth final, Argentine lifts first ATP Tour trophy
The fifth time was the charm for Guido Pella.
While the Argentine fell short in his first four ATP Tour finals, he won his maiden trophy on Sunday. Pella defeated Chilean Christian Garin 7-5, 6-3 to triumph at the Brasil Open.
Pella did not drop a set in the tournament, finishing off his dream week with a one-hour, 23-minute victory in the championship match. Pella could have shown nerves after he broke Garin in the second set to move into prime position to finish off his win. After all, the 28-year-old held a set-and-a-break lead in the Cordoba Open final last month before ultimately losing to Juan Ignacio Londero.
But this time, after saving break point in the second set (at 2-1), Pella never looked back. On his first championship point, the left-hander laced a forehand down the line for a winner and fell to his knees in celebration. With the title and the 250 ATP Ranking points he gains from his efforts, Pella will climb to a career-best World No. 34 on Monday. The Argentine also leaves Brazil with $94,830 in prize money.
The difference in the match was Pella’s consistency in the big moments. While he did not dominate Garin from the baseline and control play throughout, Pella played his best tennis on break points — both for and against him. The third seed saved six of the seven break points he faced, while converting four of his seven opportunities.
Pella finishes his ‘Golden Swing’ at 11-3, as he was a finalist in Cordoba and a semi-finalist at the Argentina Open. On Saturday, Pella battled past Rio de Janeiro champion Laslo Djere in two tie-breaks to put himself in position to defeat Garin.
While Garin could not lift his first ATP Tour title in his maiden final at this level, it was a confidence-building week for the Chilean. Before February, he had not won a match at an ATP Tour event since Santiago in 2013. But he earned a victory at both the Argentina Open and the Rio Open presented by Claro, and now has experienced his first championship match at tour-level. Nicolas Jarry, another Chilean, reached his first tour-level final in Sao Paulo last year (l. to Fognini).
Garin departs Sao Paulo with 150 ATP Ranking points, which will catapult him to a new career-high inside the Top 75. The 22-year-old also earns $51,280.
Did You Know? Pella is the seventh first-time ATP Tour champion so far this season. Alex de Minaur (Sydney), Tennys Sandgren (Auckland), Londero (Cordoba), Reilly Opelka (New York), Laslo Djere (Rio de Janeiro) and Radu Albot (Delray Beach) also lifted their maiden trophies earlier this season.
When Is The BNP Paribas Open Draw? Schedule, History, Tickets & More
All about the ATP Masters 1000 tennis tournament in Indian Wells
The BNP Paribas Open, the first of nine ATP Masters 1000 tournaments on the 2019 calendar, showcases the best men’s and women’s players at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Novak Djokovic (5), Roger Federer (5), Rafael Nadal (3), Juan Martin del Potro (1) and Ivan Ljubicic (1) have combined to win the past 15 editions in Indian Wells. Americans winners since 1990 include Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Jim Courier and Pete Sampras.
Federer, who claimed his 100th title on Saturday in Dubai, and reigning Australian Open champion Djokovic are each looking to win the BNP Paribas Open for a record sixth time. Nadal, a three-time Indian Wells champion, will aim to add to his record haul of 33 Masters 1000 titles.
Here’s all you need to know about the Indian Wells tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who won and more.
Tournament Dates: 7-17 March 2019
Tournament Director:Tommy Haas
Draw Ceremony: Tuesday, 5 March 2019 at 3pm PT at the Stadium Plaza Video Wall
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Schedule (View On Official Website) * Qualifying: 5-6 March at 11am * Main draw: starts Thursday, 7 March; 7-13 March 11am & 6pm, 14 March at 11am & 5pm, 15 March at 11am & 6:30pm * Singles semi-finals: Saturday, 16 March at 11am * Doubles final: Saturday, 16 March, fourth match on centre * Singles final: Sunday, 17 March, not before 3:30pm (after women’s singles final)
How To Watch Watch Live On Tennis TV
Venue: Indian Wells Tennis Garden Main Court Seating: 16,100
View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown
Honour Roll (Open Era) Most Titles, Singles: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer (5) Most Titles, Doubles: Guy Forget (5) Oldest Champion: Roger Federer, 35, in 2017 Youngest Champion: Boris Becker, 19, in 1987 Lowest-Ranked Champion (since 1982): No. 143 Larry Stefanki in 1985 Most Match Wins: Roger Federer (62)
2018 Finals Singles:  Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) d  Roger Federer (SUI) 64 67(8) 76(2) Read & Watch Doubles: John Isner (USA) / Jack Sock (USA) d  Bob Bryan (USA) / Mike Bryan (USA) 76(4) 76(2) Read More
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Social Hashtag: #BNPPO19 #TennisParadise Facebook: @BNPPARIBASOPEN Twitter: @BNPPARIBASOPEN Instagram: @bnpparibasopen
Did You Know… The BNP Paribas Open has been voted by ATP players as the best Masters 1000 tournament for five straight years. Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is the second largest in the world, with more than 16,000 seats and 44 suites. In 2014, the tournament debuted a brand new, permanent 8,000-seat Stadium 2, which offers spectators a chance to dine at Nobu while watching the action on court.
Novak Chases Rafa’s Record In Indian Wells As ATP Rankings Also Come Into Focus
Serbian can break tie with Federer for most Indian Wells titles
Novak Djokovic, in his first tournament since earning a record-breaking seventh Australian Open crown in January, is chasing ATP Masters 1000 history at the BNP Paribas Open. The World No. 1, who owns 32 trophies at the elite level, will try to tie second seed Rafael Nadal’s record of 33 Masters 1000 titles.
Djokovic, a five-time champion at Indian Wells, can lift a record sixth BNP Paribas Open trophy. It won’t be easy for the Serbian, though, as Nadal is in good form. The Spaniard reached the Australian Open final, and while he lost in the second round of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC, he battled eventual champion Nick Kyrgios into a third-set tie-break.
While much interest will centre on Djokovic’s attempt to tie Nadal’s Masters 1000 titles record, both players have an opportunity to put more distance between them and the chasing pack in the ATP Rankings. But the year’s first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament offers lots of opportunities further down the list.
Novak & Rafa Can Strengthen Their Top 2 Spots When the new ATP Rankings are released on Monday, World No. 1 Djokovic (10,955 points) will lead second-ranked Nadal (8,365 points) by 2,590 points. Nadal will hold a 1,770-point advantage over World No. 3 Alexander Zverev.
Considering that Djokovic is defending just 10 points from an opening-round loss to Taro Daniel last year and Nadal is not defending any points because he did not play this tournament due to injury in 2018, the Top 2 players in the world have an opportunity to strengthen their grips on their respective positions. Djokovic and Nadal have won more Masters 1000 titles (65) than all other active players combined (55) and have captured eight of the past 12 BNP Paribas Open trophies.
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Federer Trying To Maintain Top 5 Spot Roger Federer (4,600 points) began his 2018 season 17-0, with his first loss coming in the Indian Wells final against Juan Martin del Potro. So while on Monday the 37-year-old Swiss returns to the Top 5 at No. 4 thanks to his triumph at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Federer has 600 points to defend in the desert.
If Federer loses those points, World No. 6 Kevin Anderson (4,295 points) and No. 7 Kei Nishikori (4,190 points) will have a chance to move ahead of the Swiss simply by outperforming him at Indian Wells. Anderson is defending only 180 points from a quarter-final appearance last year, and Nishikori has no points to defend. Federer will need to advance to at least the quarter-finals to have a chance of remaining in the Top 5.
Del Potro To Fall To, At Best, No. 8 Del Potro captured his maiden Masters 1000 crown at the BNP Paribas Open last year. But after announcing his withdrawal from the tournament to further allow his knee to heal, the Argentine will drop 1,000 points when the next ATP Rankings are released on 18 March.
The Nos. 6-8 players in the world — Kevin Anderson, Kei Nishikori and Dominic Thiem — are guaranteed to pass the ‘Tower of Tandil’, as Del Potro will have 3,585 points, and they will all have more, even with opening-round losses. The likes of John Isner and Stefanos Tsitsipas could also surpass Del Potro with big performances over the next fortnight.
Tsitsipas Can Solidify His Top 10 Spot Tsitsipas, who is making his debut in the Top 10, can give himself cushion with a big effort in the desert. The reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion, who triumphed two weeks ago in Marseille and lost to Federer in the Dubai final, is defending only 25 points after losing to Dominic Thiem in 2018.
Kyrgios Can Continue His Ascent Entering the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC, Kyrgios was No. 72 in the ATP Rankings, his lowest standing since Wimbledon in 2014, when the Aussie was World No. 144.
Kyrgios rises 39 spots on Monday to No. 33, and since he did not compete at Indian Wells last year, he has no points to defend, giving him an opportunity to return to the Top 30 and, with another strong effort, possibly climb even further.
Did You Know? Seven of the Top 10 players in the ATP Rankings are defending 45 points or less at the BNP Paribas Open, with five members of the elite group (Djokovic, Nadal, Zverev, Nishikori and Isner) defending 10 points or less.
Aussie hints at big changes ahead after Acapulco title
The potential of Nick Kyrgios has long been undeniable. After defeating three Top 10 players and a three-time Grand Slam champion in Stan Wawrinka to win the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC, it’s even more apparent Kyrgios has the game to crack the Top 10 — and beyond — of the ATP Rankings.
But does the Aussie see himself as a Top 10 player?
“I went jet skiing at 5:30 p.m. (before playing Alexander Zverev in the final), so I don’t think that’s what a Top 10 player would do,” said Kyrgios.
Although his pre-match preparation wasn’t conventional, clinching the title in Acapulco appeared to spark a shift in thinking. If he can beat two Top 3 players in the same week, while going jet skiing hours before a championship match, what could he do if he fully applied himself?
“I’m very lucky to be in this position. I need to be way more disciplined, way better professionally and do the right things,” said Kyrgios. “I don’t even have a coach, so maybe I start there.”
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Even before his latest realisation, Kyrgios’ mental shift throughout the week wasn’t lost on fans in Acapulco. At times, they weren’t shy to voice their displeasure. But in Saturday’s final against Zverev, the Centre Court crowd chanted his name and loudly applauded his eye-raising winners.
It was an experience that Kyrgios won’t forget anytime soon.
“The crowd created the atmosphere every day. It was the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in. They were booing me and I still enjoyed playing and being here,” said Kyrgios. “They created the emotions, the memories, the event. It was amazing.”
Kyrgios feeds off the energy around him more than most players and his success in Acapulco will only create positive vibes as he heads to the BNP Paribas Open. With minimal ATP Rankings points to defend for the next three months, he’s in a prime position to continue his feel-good comeback of 2019.
“It’s hopefully an example for people who are struggling and getting in some places you don’t think you can get out of. If I can do it, you can do it,” said Kyrgios. “I was really down and out and didn’t know what I was going to do, but you have a week like this and things can change.”