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Tennis United: Hurkacz, Swiatek Not Poles Apart

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

Top-ranked Polish stars Hubert Hurkacz and Iga Swiatek share a lot in common, not least a high regard for 36-time ATP Masters 1000 champion Rafael Nadal.

Sitting down for an episode of Tennis United: Crosscourt, the ATP and WTA stars found common ground when it came to discussing Nadal, with whom Swiatek practised at Roland Garros this year.

“Of course I love his topspin and just how he plays on clay,” Swiatek said. “Clay is also my favourite surface. So when I was younger I wanted to be like him but I knew it’s kind of impossible because he’s so much stronger.

“I also like his attitude and how he behaves off-court. He’s trying to be a good example for other people.”

“Your topspin is pretty heavy as well,” Hurkacz replied. “It worked at the French Open I think even better than his! I think he is an amazing example, the way he works hard and his attitude on the match and also how he behaves. He always says hi to everyone, he’s super nice, a real inspiration.”

Hurkacz and Swiatek also discuss their diets, match-day routines, team structure and more.

The complete episode list:
• Episode 1: Relationships (Gael Monfils & Elina Svitolina)
• Episode 2: Coaching (Felix Auger-Aliassime & Jennifer Brady)
• Episode 3: Doubles (Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Jamie Murray)
• Episode 4: Parenthood (Fabio Fognini & Elena Vesnina)

• Episode 5: Travel (Grigor Dimitrov & Belinda Bencic )

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Altmaier Eases Past Querrey To Reach Second Round, Popyrin Advances

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

Daniel Altmaier defeated birthday-boy Sam Querrey on Stadium 1 to reach the second round of the BNP Paribas Open Thursday, advancing 6-2, 6-4 in 62 minutes.

Altmaier out-aced 34-year-old Querrey, who has served the fifth-most aces of all time, by seven to two. The American’s serve was not at its usual potency, as he also served eight double faults and only made 42 per cent of first serves.

Altmaier’s victory was build around his dominance on the shorter points. The German had a decisive 46-26 edge in points of 0-4 shots per Infosys ATP Stats Rally Analysis.

Querrey, a 10-time ATP Tour champion and former World No. 11, is now 0-7 in his past seven matches.

The 23-year-old German went on back-to-back semi-final runs earlier this year in Umag and Kitzbuehel, also reaching the round of 16 at Roland Garros in 2020 as a qualifier.

Up next for Altmaier is former World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in San Diego last week.


Another opening-day winner was Alexei Popyrin, who beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 7-6(4) to set up a second-round clash with Hubert Hurkacz.

The victory is Popyrin’s first over Kecmanovic, with the 22-year-old Serb winning their first two encounters in straight sets.

Popyrin, who won his first ATP Tour title earlier this year in Singapore, is recapturing his form towards the end of the season. The Australian has now won six of his past eight matches.

Kecmanovic’s YTD record now stands at 14-23, and he is 1-7 in ATP Masters 1000 events in 2021. The current World No. 62 won his lone ATP Tour title last season in Kitzbuehel.

Tommy Paul overcame record-breaking Feliciano Lopez, winning 6-3, 7-6(3) against the 40-year-old Spaniard to level their ATP Head2Head at 1-1.

Paul, who was on a three-match losing run heading into the match, utilised his dominant first serve and returning prowess to pull through in straight sets. The American won 81 per cent (26/32) of his first-serve points, and also managed to break the lefty’s serve on three occasions.

By taking the court today Lopez broke the ATP Masters appearance record, playing in his 139th event, passing Roger Federer. Lopez also holds the record for the most consecutive Grand Slam appearances with 78.

Tennys Sandgren was another American to advance Thursday, but he needed nine match points to see off Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 6-3.

“It was anything but smooth sailing in the last 15 minutes,” Sandgren told Tennis Channel. “I had 0/40 on his serve at 5/2 and then [in the final game] like four match points, four break points saved, closed my eyes on a few volleys. The ones I had my eyes open on weren’t good. The ones I had my eyes closed on were good. I don’t know what that means excatly.

“It’s been a bad year. Everybody is really good and if you don’t play well you’re not going to win. It’s pretty simple. Tennis is like life. It’s up and down. The downs may be longer than you hope, but I’m still here plugging away, trying to get some Ws.”

Sandgren, who is just 8-15 on the season, next faces Briton Cameron Norrie (41-20), quipping “We’ve basically had opposite years”.

Carlos Taberner won an all-Spanish affair against Jaume Munar 6-3, 6-3, while Japan’s Taro Daniel defeated German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-4. Taberner will next face fourth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev in the second round, while Daniel will take on American Reilly Opelka, the 16th seed.

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Leonardo Mayer: 'Tennis Gave Me Everything'

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

Whatever the situation, a smile is never far from the face of Leonardo Mayer. Genuine and articulate, the Argentine was emotional on what was a special day in his life: the former No. 21 in the FedEx ATP Rankings and winner of two ATP Tour titles announced his retirement from tennis at midday on Thursday.

“I had a kind of internal battle. Even when I came back from Wimbledon I told myself: ‘I’m going to stop playing for a while and see how I feel,’” said Mayer. “So I gradually wound down from playing and, honestly, I felt fine. With plenty of barbecues and things to do at home, I said: ‘That’s it, everything I’ve done has been perfect and I’m not a tennis player anymore.’

“Tennis brought me so much joy and it’s been part of my life since I was little. But I feel that it’s time to end this wonderful period of being a player,” said the father of Valentino (4) and twins Camilo and Pedro (1) in a message he posted on social media. “Thank you to my wife Milagros, who was part of all my experiences and provided vital support. We have three beautiful children and they are the biggest trophies.”

Mayer grew up in a sporting environment, with tennis in particular being part of life at home early on for the player from Corrientes. After picking up a racquet for the first time at eight years of age, it was rarely far from his hands.

The 34-year-old Argentine never lost his dedication and passion as he built his career; tennis always came first. He turned pro in 2003, reaching No. 21 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in 2015 and almost ending 10 consecutive seasons in the Top 100 (2009-15, 2017-18). Through talent and hard work, he forged himself a solid and unfaltering game and carried himself with unwavering confidence on court.

What will he do with his time now that he has hung up his racquet?

“Yesterday, I went to the gym while my children were having a nap, but only for a while, so that my shoulder doesn’t hurt,” said Mayer. “I’ve started living as a stay-at-home dad, taking care of the house, looking after the garden… I cook a lot of barbecues, eat whatever I want, take care of the kids; all the things I never used to do because I had to look after myself. I can even play football matches now.

“I’ve had a good career. Yes, there are a few specific matches I could have won or played better in, but that’s just the way it is. That’s how you build a career and sometimes it’s not easy.”

Getting his first ATP point, entering the Top 100, winning an ATP tournament and being able to travel on the tour with his family are Mayer’s favourite memories. Among those memories is a match in Shanghai in 2014 that, despite being bittersweet, is impossible to forget.

He could barely hide his tears when he approached the net to shake hands with an opponent who had seen off everything the Argentine could throw at him. Partly due to bad fortune and partly because of Roger Federer’s magic, victory slipped through Mayer’s fingers the first time he faced the Swiss, who progressed after a 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(7) victory in which Mayer had five match points.

“That match was one of the luckiest I’ve played in my career,” Federer said several years later when he clashed with him again at the US Open.

“I still find that match unbelievable, because I never thought I would have a chance to beat him on that occasion,” Mayer said. “The day after losing I was happy, it’s very difficult to play against someone you admire that much; you always see them on TV and you can’t imagine playing against them.

“It was important to me to play with Federer even though I didn’t beat him. If I’d beaten him it would only have given me 45 more points at the time and allowed me to say ‘I beat him,‘ that’s all.”

If there was one place on tour where Mayer was in his element it was Hamburg, which holds a special place in his heart. There, he won both of his ATP Tour titles, in 2014 and 2017, also reaching the final in 2018 at the event, where he holds a 15-4 career record.

“It was really crazy. I liked watching it on TV, and by chance when I got there I felt comfortable, I had nothing to complain about,” he joked. “The court was incredible, the balls, the city, the club, everything. I won with fast shots, slow shots, I liked everything because I felt like a winner there.”

Now a family man, Mayer became emotional when he talked about what tennis meant, and will continue to mean, in his life.

“Tennis was a very important part of my life, a school, a primary school, a secondary school, a university, I qualified and now I’ve retired,” he laughed. “A tennis career is wonderful, it’s very demanding. You grow up very early, with so much responsibility from older people and you miss out on certain things, but I have no complaints. I had a great time, I loved the journey I went on, I achieved what I wanted to and I learned so much from it.”

Such is his bond with the game, that Mayer is sure it will continue to be a part of his life.

“I want to stay involved in tennis, coaching someone. I like teaching and having a goal with a player,” he explained. “I like tennis, that will always be the case. It’s not a decision I struggled with, quite the opposite; I’m on good terms with tennis, we’re friends and we always will be.”

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Feliciano Breaks The ATP Masters 1000 Appearance Record

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

When Feliciano López starts talking, his enthusiasm is immediately evident. At 40 years of age, he understands that everything he now gets from tennis is a bonus. At the BNP Paribas Open he will set yet another record in the sport by having competed in 139 ATP Masters 1000 events, more than any other player.

He previously shared the record with another player from his generation and one of the greats, Roger Federer. Before embarking on a new adventure in the Californian desert, the eighteenth of his career, the Spaniard spoke to to discuss a new feat of longevity in an already impressive career.

[FOLLOW 1000]

When you play your opener at Indian Wells on Thursday, you’ll become the player with the most ATP Masters 1000 participations.
Really? I honestly didn’t know. I knew that I’d played a lot of tournaments, but I had no idea I was about to break the record here at Indian Wells.

You’ll also be taking the record from another player born in ‘81, a certain Roger Federer (138 appearances).
It’s definitely not normal for us to be playing at 40. Unfortunately Roger has a knee injury. For my part, I’ve been lucky enough not to have anything serious and to continue competing. I think I can be very satisfied and happy about it, because I can still be here now.

At this rate you’re going to break all the records for longevity…
(Laughs). No, no, the important thing is to keep playing and to be at another Masters 1000. I wasn’t expecting it, because I didn’t get straight in. In fact I went back home (Madrid, Spain) from Boston.

What does this type of record mean to you?
They’re little gifts that tennis is giving me. Honestly, I didn’t expect to be playing at Indian Wells at 40. That’s why I’ve been trying to make the most of it for a while. I think it’s worth the effort. I came back from Boston and flew back to the US, leaving my family at home. Although it may seem stupid to some, it’s a Masters 1000 and another opportunity to compete at the top.

You’ve surpassed 500 ATP Tour wins and you have the records for the most consecutive Grand Slam appearances and total participations in Masters 1000s. Which means the most to you?
I think the 500 wins. Purely in terms of tennis, reaching 500 wins is something that very few people do. When I look at that list and see my name there, it makes me feel proud. The records in Grand Slams are a reward for my consistency, my passion for tennis, for not having been injured, for having taken care of myself… but in terms of the game of tennis, I value having won so many matches much more.

You’ve mentioned your trip to Boston from the Laver Cup and returning to California for Indian Wells via your home. Where do you find the motivation to keep going?
On the one hand, I should be grateful. Tennis and life have given me this chance, it would be a little off not to at least try to make the most of it. On the other, I’m looking for points to finish the year in the Top 100 and to be able to play some Grand Slams next year.

Your competitive spirit must also be an important factor?
It’s just really difficult to stop. When I talk to players who have retired they tell me to savour it because I’m going to miss it. Now that I play fewer tournaments, I don’t win as many matches as when I was younger and I’m the director of the Mutua Madrid Open, competition is my priority, but it’s not the same as when I was 20 or 25. I miss competing more, I’ve been doing this all my life and in a way I can’t stop.

You always talk about the ‘gifts’ that are allowing you to enjoy yourself so much in recent times. You recently formed part of the European team at the Laver Cup.
I was lucky enough to play in a Laver Cup, to share it with the great Bjorn Borg and all the guys, some of whom weren’t even born when I started playing. It was a happy week, we won and suddenly I found out I had to go back to the US to play in a Masters 1000. It’s worth trying to make the most of those little gifts. Indian Wells is not just any tournament and I don’t know how many more I’ll play.

How are you feeling coming into Indian Wells?
If I do well I could pick some points up, which would help me achieve my goal of ending the year in the Top 100 so that I can keep competing next year. At the moment, I have to try and make the most of the opportunities that tennis keeps giving me, because like I said, they are little gifts that I can’t squander.

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ATP And Infosys Launch Revamped Stats Centre To Bring Fans Closer To The Game

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

The ATP and Infosys, the Digital Innovation Partner of the ATP Tour, have launched a suite of exciting match stats and analysis tools designed to bring fans, coaches and media closer to the action of men’s professional tennis.

From today, fans will be able to level-up their experience of ATP Tour matches by layering on statistical insights from across more than 60 ATP Tour events each season. Delivered via an immersive and intuitive interface on, Infosys will allow viewers to tap into the pulse of the match through real-time data and insights – helping to tell a richer story of the action on court and reveal game-changing moments.

Over the past six years, Infosys has helped push the boundaries of the sport further through a suite of innovative solutions. These include popular data-led products such as the ATP Stats Leaderboards and ATP Second Screen for live insights, in addition to digitally driven solutions like the new ATP Tour fan app and Player Zone. New features launched today include:

• MatchBeats: Look deeper into the highs and lows of the match with point-by-point analysis studying shot speeds, rally lengths and auto-generated insights. Spot important trends using filters, from every winner to unforced errors.

• Rally Analysis: Dissect how rallies happen and which ones create an impact. Identify the patterns of play that matter most and study performance in short, medium, and long rallies.

• 3D CourtVision: Re-live every point via an immersive 3D court experience that gives fans the best seat in the house. Analyse ball trajectory and key statistics from multiple viewing angles.

• Stroke Summary: Gain insight into player performance and success rate across different stroke types such as forehands, backhands, lobs and volleys.

• Stats: Rank stats according to their influence on the outcome of a match. Understand if break points won mattered more than net points, or double faults turned the tide more than aces.

Daniele Sanò, ATP Chief Business Officer, said: “As an organisation we are constantly looking for new ways to make the experience of our sport more compelling. Tennis is incredibly data-rich and Infosys has both the technological expertise and passion for tennis to bring it to life in an intuitive way. We are excited for fans to interact with these new features and look forward to future digital innovation together with Infosys.”

Sumit Virmani, Chief Marketing Officer, Infosys, said: “The revamped stats centre is another significant landmark as we navigate into the seventh year of our successful journey with the ATP. The application of digital technologies is now becoming increasingly important in sport and business. As strategic partners in the digital roadmap and vision for the ATP, we are delighted to jointly bring innovative experiences to the world of tennis to further amplify the experience of fans, coaches, and other stakeholders of the game across the globe.”

Explore the new Infosys ATP Stats Centre.

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Murray's Wedding Ring Plea

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray is yet to compete at the BNP Paribas Open this week, but his time in Indian Wells has already got off to a terrible start after the Brit had his wedding ring stolen in a strange incident in California.

The 34-year-old took to Instagram to explain how he had left his tennis shoes under his car overnight to ‘air’ out after training, but returned to find them gone from the hotel car park the next morning.

While he was able to replace the shoes, like many players, Murray ties his wedding ring to his shoes when he plays. When asked by his physio if he had the ring on him ahead of training on Wednesday, the Brit had the dreaded realisation it was missing and has taken to Instagram to appeal for help.

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A post shared by Andy Murray (@andymurray)

“Last night after dinner here at Indian Wells, got back in the car to go back to the hotel and the car didn’t smell great,” Murray explained on Instagram. “Basically, I’d left my tennis shoes in there. It’s been like 39 degrees so my tennis shoes are pretty damp, sweat and smelly so I decided when I got back to the hotel, the shoes needed some air and needed to dry them out a little bit.

“I have no balcony in room and didn’t want to leave them in my room ‘coz they’d stink the room out so I thought I’m going to leave the shoes underneath the car to get some air to them and dry them out overnight.

“Anyway, when I got back to the car in the morning the shoes were gone. So, my tennis shoes for the tournament had been [stolen] so I had to go to the local pro shop and buy different shoes to what I normally wear.

“Anyway, as I was preparing for my practice, my physio said to me, ‘where’s your wedding ring?’ and I was like, ‘oh no’. I tie my wedding ring to my tennis shoes when I’m playing because I can’t play with it on my hand so my wedding ring has been stolen as well.

“Needless to say, I’m in the bad books at home so I want to try and find it so if anyone can share this or may have any clue where they may be, it would be very helpful so I can try and get it back and get to the bottom of it.”

Murray, who reached the final in Indian Wells in 2009, will begin his campaign against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

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Van De Zandschulp: 'You Don't Have Time To Celebrate'

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

Botic van de Zandschulp enjoyed by far the biggest result of his career at the US Open, where he became the third men’s qualifier on record to reach the quarter-finals. But if you talk to the Dutchman, who on Wednesday qualified for the BNP Paribas Open, it’s as if nothing happened last month.

The same day Botic lost against eventual champion Daniil Medvedev, he flew home. Van de Zandschulp has not looked back since.

“It went quickly and I didn’t really have time to think about it,” van de Zandschulp told “I didn’t realise it yet and I think it is maybe going to come in the offseason when I’m not playing and taking a look back at the year. I think then I’m going to realise how good it was.”

Botic, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday, has not stopped moving since his big run, both literally and figuratively. After staying home for less than a week, the new Top 100 player flew across the Atlantic Ocean again, taking a 14-hour trip to Uruguay to compete for his country in Davis Cup.

Van de Zandchulp then returned to The Netherlands for eight days before travelling to California — this is just his second trip to the United States, his first coming for the US Open — to play qualifying for the BNP Paribas Open.

“A lot of miles, definitely,” van de Zandschulp said, cracking a smile. “It’s been some ride the past couple of weeks.”

His US Open run was big news in The Netherlands, as no Dutchman had made a major quarter-final since Sjeng Schalken at Wimbledon in 2004. Van de Zandschulp did several interviews and appeared on a Dutch TV show when he was home.

“My phone blew up. In Holland it was a pretty big thing,” van de Zandchulp said. “If I was a guy from Russia at the moment and I made the quarters, it would be a little different than from Holland. The last guy from Holland was 18 years ago, Schalken. He made the quarters. For a country like Holland, it’s a little bit more special.”

World No. 66 van de Zandchulp has not reveled in his success. Instead, he refocussed and set his sights on a new goal: cracking the Top 50 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

“You don’t have a lot of time to celebrate,” van de Zandschulp said. “You go on to the next tournament every time.”

That does not mean that the Dutchman’s efforts at Flushing Meadows were not beneficial. Botic proved to himself he could compete with the world’s best by defeating then-World No. 11 Casper Ruud in the second round of the main draw and then-World No. 14 Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round.

Botic van de Zandschulp
Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USTA
Nobody pushed eventual champion Medvedev as far as van de Zandschulp. The Russian, who stunned World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final, needed four tight sets to get through their quarter-final.

“I think it’s a good sign I can beat guys who are higher-ranked than me and guys who are [around No.] 10 in the world. I think I did pretty good against Medvedev as well,” van de Zandschulp said. “It gives you a little bit of confirmation that you are doing the right things, doing the right stuff off the court and on court during practices.”

Van de Zandschulp had never previously been inside the World’s Top 100, and he had never competed in qualifying at an ATP Masters 1000 event. At Indian Wells, he was the top seed in qualifying and battled through to the main draw, where he will play American Marcos Giron.

“I think it’s something new to handle and I think that goes in stages. First I had it in the [ITF] Futures, going from unseeded to seeded, then in the [ATP] Challengers. It’s always different how you go into a tournament,” van de Zandschulp said. “Now it’s starting over again a little bit. Playing in qualifying as the No. 1 seed, you have different expectations than normal. I hope it’s going to be less pressure in the main draw.”

The Dutchman admitted, “I put maybe a little bit too much pressure on myself” to qualify for the BNP Paribas Open. But as was the case in New York, where he lost the first set in his first six matches (three qualifying and three main draw), he was undeterred.

Whether facing pressure in a tennis match or flying over the Atlantic Ocean five times in a month-and-a-half, very little visibly bothers van de Zandschulp. The breakthrough player just worries about the practices and matches in front of him and giving his best every day.

“I’m not a guy who is too excited about stuff. I’m always like this,” van de Zandschulp said. “I’m not changing now that I made the quarters at the US Open. I think that’s a good thing.”

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Tsitsipas 'Excited' For Indian Wells Return

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas is set to make his third appearance at the BNP Paribas Open this week and is excited to be back in California as he targets his second ATP Masters 1000 crown of the season.

“California is a great place for tennis with great weather and ideal conditions,” Tsitsipas said. “When it comes to organising things for players [it is great]. Indian Wells is known to be one of the best tennis tournaments in the world and every single player is excited to be playing here.

“It does feel like a big thing, you kind of feel the same honour at this tournament and Miami as a Slam. There is something about it.”

[FOLLOW 1000]

Tsitsipas arrives in Indian Wells having helped guide Team Europe to a fourth consecutive victory over Team World at the Laver Cup last month. While the 23-year-old enjoyed uniting with fellow Top 10 stars for the event, he is ready to return to solo duty in California.

“I think team competitions are necessary for our sport and we don’t get to be united a lot, Tsitsipas said. “We always kind of focus on ourselves and our things and environment and that is what you usually see on Tour. Players doing their own thing. Not much socialising.

“At the Laver Cup, we all get to have dinners together and all get to hang out with each other. Of course, though, we all have our competitiveness and if we get stuck around we might share too much with one another, that is the mentality behind it.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the hard-court tournament was cancelled in 2020 and pushed back from March to October this year. However, it returns with crowds this week and after competing at the US Open and the Laver Cup in the past month, Tsitsipas is relishing the opportunity to play in front of fans in the United States once again.

The second seed, who has never advanced past the second round in two previous appearances at the BNP Paribas Open, will begin against World No. 59 Pedro Martinez or Italian qualifier Roberto Marcora.

“Americans love sport. The American audience appreciates a high level of tennis. They have been really into tennis in the last couple of years. They have had great tennis players in the United States. I grew up watching them. Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang and Jim Courier. They gave so much to the sport and that is the reason we are here now.”

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Tiafoe Opens Indian Wells Campaign Among 10 Home Contenders

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

Frances Tiafoe begins his fifth BNP Paribas Open campaign on Thursday, leading a strong home contingent of 10 American men in action on Day 1 at Indian Wells.

Since beating Taylor Fritz in 2016, the 23-year-old has not passed the first round in four subsequent attempts. But he will carry a 1-0 ATP Head2Head record into his opening clash with Frenchman Benoit Paire on Stadium 1. The World No. 49 has already notched some notable wins on his North American hard-court swing, taking down then-No. 10 Denis Shapovalov in Toronto and No. 7 Andrey Rublev in five sets to reach the fourth round at the US Open (l. to Auger-Aliassime).

Countryman Tommy Paul will also feature on Stadium 1 as he attempts to fell veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez for the first time on Thursday. Lopez holds a 15-17 record in the desert and will pull clear of Roger Federer for most ATP Masters 1000 appearances with 139 when he takes on the 24-year-old American. The Spaniard, who celebrated his 40th birthday last month, had his best run at Indian Wells in 2015 when he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Murray).

Most ATP Masters 1000 Appearances

 No.  Player   Events 
 1T.  Feliciano Lopez  138
 1T.  Roger Federer  138
 3.  Fernando Verdasco  129
 4T.  David Ferrer  123
 4T.  Rafael Nadal  123

Two young Americans look to make good on wild cards when they make their respective Indian Wells main draw debuts on Thursday. #NextGenATP 18-year-old Zachary Svajda, a two-time USTA Boys’ 18s national champion, takes on Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso for the first time, while 22-year-old J.J. Wolf meets experienced Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

Wolf fell in qualifying in his only prior appearance in the desert in 2019. The 31-year-old Pospisil upset then-World No. 1 Andy Murray as a qualifier in the second round in 2017 on his way to the round of 32.

Former World No. 11 Sam Querrey opens play on Stadium 1 when he takes on German Daniel Altmaier. The 33-year-old is looking for his first singles win since Wimbledon and will carry a 1-0 ATP Head2Head record into the clash.

Former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori begins his 10th Indian Wells campaign against Portuguese qualifier Joao Sousa, the former World No. 28 . The Japanese star has an 11-10 record in the desert, including two quarter-final appearances, but fell to Hubert Hurkacz in the round of 32 in 2019.

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Shapovalov Out To Revive Season In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

Denis Shapovalov hopes a return to the Californian desert this week for the BNP Paribas Open will deliver the late-season revival he needs as he pursues a maiden Nitto ATP Finals berth in 2021.

Currently at No. 15 in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, the 22-year-old still holds an outside chance at landing a place in the elite eight-player field. But since his breakthrough run to a maiden Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon in July, when he tested eventual champion Novak Djokovic, it has not been entirely smooth sailing as he compiled a 3-6 record on hard courts.

A third-round departure to Lloyd Harris at the US Open preceded a straight-sets dismissal to Daniil Medvedev in his sole Laver Cup singles match for Team World. He scored a win over Taylor Fritz at the San Diego Open last week before he fell to eventual finalist Cameron Norrie in the quarter-finals.

“It’s definitely great to be back at Indian Wells. Obviously, a little bit different playing it in October but it’s definitely great to still be in the States during this part of the season – definitely much closer to travel to,” Shapovalov said. “[It’s] really hot conditions, which I think can suit my game, [so I’m] looking forward to the tournament.”

An impressive showing at the Sunshine Double in 2019 proved the launch pad to one of Shapovalov’s career-best seasons. The Canadian holds a 3-2 record in the desert, beating 11th seed Marin Cilic to reach the round of 16 in 2019 before falling to then No. 67 Hubert Hurkacz in three sets.

At the Miami Open that month, Shapovalov beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe en route to the semi-finals, where he lost to eventual champion Roger Federer. It was a run that elevated him into the Top 20 for the first time and he went on to end the season at No. 15.


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“It’s been a while since that time frame. It’s a little bit weird being back here because it’s kind of where everything started,” Shapovalov said. “Definitely, I feel like a completely different player coming into the event this year, for sure, a lot more experience, a lot more relaxed on the court.

“I’ve been through the ride a couple of times now so I know exactly what to expect from myself and overall happy with the way I’ve been able to grow since everything kind of shut down [due to the pandemic].”

Seeded ninth, Shapovalov will open against compatriot Vasek Pospisil or American J.J. Wolf following a bye. This week, he also reprises his doubles partnership with Rohan Bopanna with hopes of beating his countryman Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz first up. In 2019, the duo upset Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares before Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini prevailed in a match tie-break.

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