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Schwartzman Saves Match Points, Evans Defeats Nishikori

  • Posted: Oct 09, 2021

Diego Schwartzman pulled through an epic second-round encounter against qualifier Maxime Cressy at the BNP Paribas Open Saturday, saving two match points to win 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

Eleventh seed Schwartzman broke Cressy to stay alive in the deciding set, with the American leading 5-4, 40/15 before Schwartzman won the next four points to get back on serve. The Argentine’s mental toughness was on full display, as he won the last four games of the match to advance to the third round.

World No. 145 Cressy is no stranger to an upset, having defeated Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in a five-set thriller in the first round of this year’s US Open.

Schwartzman, who won the title in Buenos Aires in March without dropping a set, will next take on Daniel Evans, who defeated Kei Nishikori Saturday 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 31-year-old Briton continues his campaign to reach the Top 20 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, gaining his first victory over Nishikori since the US Open in 2013.


“It was a good match,” said Evans. “It was satisfying, how I dealt with a bit of adversity after the first set. It was a tough first-round draw.”

In the deciding set the World No. 22 saved all four break points that he faced, breaking the Nishikori serve at his only opportunity.

Evans lifted his first ATP Tour trophy this year in Melbourne, and was a semi-finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte-Carlo in April. Schwartzman was victorious when the two played in their only meeting in Cincinnati this year.

“Looking back, I lost the match, but I have pretty good memories,” said Evans. “I know a lot of things that I did well, that worked. I sort of know how he might try and play.”

Earlier, Casper Ruud eased past Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2 in 71 minutes, winning 80 per cent (33/41) of total service points. The 22-year-old Norwegian has put himself in an ideal position to qualify for the year-end Nitto ATP Finals, currently sitting in eighth position in the FedEx ATP Race to Turin.

Ruud defeated Cameron Norrie to win the trophy in San Diego last week, which was his tour-leading fifth ATP Tour title in 2021. Up next for Ruud is South African Lloyd Harris or Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

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Opelka, Hurkacz Advance In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 09, 2021

Reilly Opelka improved to 11-5 at ATP Masters 1000 events in 2021 Saturday with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Japan’s Taro Daniel to reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Opelka put on a serving exhibition on Stadium 1, firing 11 aces and winning 90 per cent (26/29) of first-serve points. The 16th seed, who has now won 10 of his past 14 matches, also did not face a break point.

Next up for the 24-year-old will be 23rd seed Grigor Dimitrov or Daniel Altmaier.

The American was the finalist at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in August, losing to World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the final. Opelka is a two-time champion on the ATP Tour, with victories in New York in 2019 and Delray Beach in 2020, but is yet to win a title in 2021.


Hubert Hurkacz began his campaign to lift a second ATP Masters 1000 title Saturday with a 6-1, 7-5 victory against Alexei Popyrin.

The 24-year-old Pole is a three-time champion on the ATP Tour in 2021, including a maiden ATP Masters 1000 triumph at the Miami Open. Hurkacz defeated Italian Jannik Sinner in the final to become Poland’s first ATP Masters 1000 champion.

Hurkacz was broken for the first time when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but maintained his composure to win the next two games and advance. The eighth seed put constant pressure on Popyrin’s serve, breaking the 22-year-old Australian four times.

A debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, which will be held from 14-21 November, is in reach for Hurkacz, who is currently ninth in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin. He was recently overtaken in the Race by Casper Ruud following the Norwegian’s victory at the San Diego Open last week.

Hurkacz will next take on the winner of the all-American clash between 32nd seed Sebastian Korda and Frances Tiafoe.

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Saturday Preview: Medvedev & Rublev In Action In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 09, 2021

Top seed Daniil Medvedev returns to singles duty on Saturday at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time since he won his maiden major title at the US Open last month, with Russia’s Andrey Rublev and Noway’s Casper Ruud also in second-round action.

Medvedev, who helped Team Europe triumph over Team World at the Laver Cup in September, has won his past eight tour-level matches. The World No. 2 will look to extend that run against America’s Mackenzie McDonald, with the Russian leading their ATP Head2Head Series 4-0.

Speaking ahead of the match, which is not before 6 p.m. on Stadium 1, the 25-year-old insisted his motivation for success remains as great as ever following his US Open victory as he aims to win his second ATP Masters 1000 title of the season.

“I have motivation, I came here prepared,” Medvedev said in his pre-tournament press conference. “We can’t know before the tournament what the result is going to be but even if I lose [in the] second round here, it is nothing to do with the motivation. It is because of the opponent or that I was not playing that well. I am going to play a few tournaments for the rest of the year and I am going to try my best and win them.”

Countryman Rublev also begins his Indian Wells campaign on day three in California, facing Spaniard Carlos Taberner on Stadium 2. The 23-year-old reached his second Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati in August and arrives in Indian Wells off the back of a run to the semi-finals at the San Diego Open.

The FedEx ATP Race To Turin is heating up and Norway’s Casper Ruud strengthened his bid to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals by capturing his fifth tour-level title of the season in San Diego last week. Currently sat eighth in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin (2,925 points), he will be aiming for another deep run in Indian Wells.

The 22-year-old faces Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena on Stadium 3, with Ruud leading their ATP Head2Head Series 3-0. However, this will be their first meeting on hard.

Eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz is on Ruud’s tail in the Race To Turin, currently in ninth, just 150 points behind the Norwegian. The Pole clinched his third tour-level title of the season in Metz last month and opens his Indian Wells campaign against Australian Alexei Popyrin in the first match on Stadium 7.

Russia’s Aslan Karatsev, currently 12th in the Race To Turin (1,940), needs a big final push if he is to qualify for the season finale, to be held from 14-21 November at the Pala Alpitour in Turin. The 28-year-old faces Italy’s Salvatore Caruso not before 6 p.m. on Stadium 5.


Wimbledon semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov, Toronto runner-up Reilly Opelka and #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda are all also in action in a packed day three.

Canadian Shapovalov plays countryman Vasek Pospisil on Stadium 2, while Opelka takes on Taro Daniel on Stadium 1. Korda, who has booked his spot at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, meets Frances Tiafoe.

A number of ATP Tour stars feature in doubles action, with Alexander Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff facing sixth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares. #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz and Pablo Carreno Busta take on Tim Puetz and Michael Venus, while Americans John Isner and Jack Sock play Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski.


STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – T. Daniel (JPN) vs [16] R. Opelka (USA)
ATP – [32] S. Korda (USA) vs F. Tiafoe (USA)
WTA – Not Before 3:00 PM – C. Garcia (FRA) vs [15] C. Gauff (USA)
ATP – Not Before 6:00 pm – [1] D. Medvedev (RUS) vs M. McDonald (USA)
WTA – Not Before 8:00 PM – A. Riske (USA) vs [16] B. Andreescu (CAN)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – A. Tomljanovic (AUS) vs [5] G. Muguruza (ESP)
WTA – [1] K. Pliskova (CZE) vs [Q] M. Frech (POL)
ATP – [9] D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs V. Pospisil (CAN)
WTA – Not Before 6:00 PM – V. Golubic (SUI) vs [6] M. Sakkari (GRE)
ATP – [4] A. Rublev (RUS) vs C. Taberner (ESP)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
ATP – [11] D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs [Q] M. Cressy (USA)
ATP – R. Carballes Baena (ESP) vs [6] C. Ruud (NOR)
ATP – [23] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs D. Altmaier (GER)
WTA – Not Before 6:00 PM – [10] A. Kerber (GER) vs K. Siniakova (CZE)
WTA – [5] N. Melichar-Martinez (USA) / D. Schuurs (NED) vs L. Fernandez (CAN) / C. Gauff (USA)

STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – [12] O. Jabeur (TUN) vs A. Sevastova (LAT)
WTA – Not Before 12:30 PM – A. Anisimova (USA) vs [30] C. Giorgi (ITA)
WTA – [3] B. Krejcikova (CZE) vs [Q] Z. Diyas (KAZ)
ATP – Not Before 6:00 pm – T. Paul (USA) vs [28] D. Lajovic (SRB)
ATP – M. Giron (USA) vs [27] F. Krajinovic (SRB)

STADIUM 5 start 11:00 am
ATP – K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [18] D. Evans (GBR)
ATP – [21] C. Norrie (GBR) vs T. Sandgren (USA)
ATP- After Suitable Rest – D. Evans (GBR) / N. Skupski (GBR) vs [WC] J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA)
ATP – Not Before 6:00 pm – [Q] S. Caruso (ITA) vs [19] A. Karatsev (RUS)
ATP – S. Bolelli (ITA) / M. Gonzalez (ARG) vs [4] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)

STADIUM 6 start 11:00 am
WTA – [28] S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) vs [Q] A. Kalinskaya (RUS)
WTA – [18] A. Kontaveit (EST) vs [Q] M. Trevisan (ITA)
WTA – [21] P. Badosa (ESP) vs D. Yastremska (UKR)
WTA – Not Before 6:00 PM – L. Davis (USA) vs [22] D. Collins (USA)
WTA – [Q] A. Sharma (AUS) vs [20] D. Kasatkina (RUS)

STADIUM 7 start 11:00 am
ATP – A. Popyrin (AUS) vs [8] H. Hurkacz (POL)
ATP – G. Pella (ARG) vs [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
ATP – T. Puetz (GER) / M. Venus (NZL) vs C. Alcaraz (ESP) / P. Carreno Busta (ESP)
ATP – Not Before 6:00 pm – [26] L. Harris (RSA) vs A. Davidovich Fokina (ESP)

STADIUM 8 start 11:00 am
WTA – [26] T. Zidansek (SLO) vs A. Konjuh (CRO)
WTA – M. Bouzkova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [WC] S. Halep (ROU) / E. Ruse (ROU)
WTA – After Suitable Rest NB 2:00 PM – L. Kichenok (UKR) / J. Ostapenko (LAT) vs S. Rogers (USA) / A. Tomljanovic (AUS)
WTA – Not Before 6:00 PM – U. Eikeri (NOR) / A. Sasnovich (BLR) vs [WC] R. Brantmeier (USA) / K. Scott (USA)

STADIUM 9 start 11:00 am
ATP – [3] M. Granollers (ESP) / H. Zeballos (ARG) vs F. Fognini (ITA) / L. Sonego (ITA)
ATP – C. Garin (CHI) / S. Gonzalez (MEX) vs [8] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
ATP – [6] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs J. Struff (GER) / A. Zverev (GER)
WTA – Not Before 6:00 PM – A. Muhammad (USA) / J. Pegula (USA) vs [3] S. Aoyama (JPN) / E. Shibahara (JPN)
WTA – M. Sherif (EGY) vs [LL] B. Haddad Maia (BRA)

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Murray Reveals Wedding Ring Retrieval Following Mannarino Win

  • Posted: Oct 09, 2021

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray won his first match at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday, overcoming Adrian Mannarino in Indian Wells. However, his biggest revelation came off the court.

The Scot revealed the full story of how he retrieved the wedding ring and shoes he had originally lost after leaving them attached under his car at the hotel. Thankfully for the 34-year-old, he was reunited with both after making a plea on Instagram.

“The day after or the day that we realised they were let’s say misplaced or sort of someone had moved them, I went and I spoke to the lost and found a couple times at the hotel that day,” Murray said in his post-match press conference. “They said they’d found nothing. I spoke to security. They said they found nothing.

“I was like, ‘well, they’re gone’. I was going to file a police report to try to get them back or to increase my chance of getting them back. I went and spoke to the hotel, explained to them what I was going to do. They then decided to take all of my details down, the details of the shoes, ring, took me out to the car park and asked exactly where it was I parked. I asked them if they could look at the cameras.

“About an hour later they turned up. One of the employees at the hotel found them in their lost and found. Thankfully [I] managed to get them back, which was good.”

Andy Murray

Photo Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Murray admitted though when It came to the ring, this was not the first time he had faced such a scenario.

“There’s been a number of occasions where it’s fallen off my shoe,” Murray said. “Once I was swimming in a swimming pool. When my hands get cold, the ring can slide off. I lost it. Didn’t realise until later in the day.

“My physio went back into the swimming pool. He used to swim, like, at British level. He was under there looking for it. He managed to find it. I’ve almost lost it quite a few times but it always finds its way back to me somehow. Yeah, this time was no different.”

On the court, the World No. 121 cruised past Mannarino to set up a second-round meeting with #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.

Murray was pleased with his performance and concentration against the Frenchman, saying: “I think there’s many factors. It may not necessarily be that you’re not concentrating on the match, but it may be concentrating on the wrong things as well. I might be focused on maybe what just happened rather than what’s about to happen.

“I’m trying to be a little bit more present and focus on just every single point. I think tonight I did a good job of that. I did well considering the conditions. I don’t think I played amazing tennis or the best tennis that I can play. But I still won comfortably against a very good player just by knuckling down on every point.”

The Scot is competing in his 10th tour-level event of the season and arrived in California having played back-to-back ATP Tour tournaments in Metz and San Diego. With the number of matches Murray is playing increasing, the 34-year-old is determined to maintain his fitness as he looks to finish the season strongly.

“Physically my body responds well to playing matches,” Murray said. “That’s one of the hardest things about being out, is that you just can’t replicate the intensity of match play. You can do all of the work in the gym, do as much practising as you want, but getting on the match court is different.

“Your body responds differently to that. I don’t know whether it’s due to adrenaline or that will to win, you push your body just that little bit harder, five per cent, 10 per cent extra. Unless you’re out there competing regularly, your body doesn’t get used to that.

“While my body feels good, I want to try to play as much as I can between now and the end of the year to set myself up as best as I can for next season. I don’t want to overplay obviously. I have played quite a few tournaments recently, but I’ve not had any really deep runs. I’ve had enough rest between the events.”

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Anderson Powers Through Indian Wells Opener

  • Posted: Oct 09, 2021

South African former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson has improved his ATP Head2Head record to 3-0 against Australia’s Jordan Thompson after a straight-sets win in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday.

The three-time Indian Wells quarter-finalist had never dropped a set to the 27-year-old and maintained that record with a 7-5, 6-2 victory in 84 minutes. In his 10th appearance in the California desert Anderson struck 10 aces and dropped only three points on his first serve to set a second-round meeting with 17th seed Lorenzo Sonego.

It was better news for Thompson’s countryman, John Millman, in the following match on Stadium 2. The World No. 58’s mental toughness shone as he withstood 2017 semi-finalist Jack Sock 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 31 minutes.

Millman won 66 per cent of first-serve points, including four aces, and broke five times. He recovered from 1-3 down in the deciding set to reel off the final five games and set a showdown against 10th seed Jannik Sinner.

Earlier, Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori finished emphatically to deny German Dominik Koepfer in their first-round clash. The 22-year-old saved nine of 11 break points for a 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-0 victory, which set a meeting with 24th seed and Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Karen Khachanov.

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Murray Advances To Alcaraz Showdown In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 09, 2021

If Andy Murray was put off by his stinky-shoe, wedding-ring dilemma from earlier this week in Indian Wells, he certainly did not show it on court Friday evening.

The former World No. 1 eliminated tricky Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2 to reach the second round of the BNP Paribas Open. The Scot will next play #NextGenATP star Carlos Alcaraz for a spot in the third round.

“It’s been four years since I was last here. I think it’s one of the best places to play tennis on Tour,” Murray said in his on-court interview. “It’s been a tough road to get back and it was so nice that so many people managed to come out and support today. I really enjoyed it.”

Murray was the talk of social media in recent days, as he enlisted the fans’ help in finding his missing tennis shoes and wedding ring. After retrieving the items, the 34-year-old returned his attention to the tournament, where he beat his lefty opponent in one hour and 24 minutes.

The three-time major champion did not face a break point until the last point of  the match. Mannarino often proves a difficult foe for players with his flat groundstrokes, but Murray never appeared out of his comfort zone.

The wild card flashed his shotmaking abilities on multiple occasions, including one incredible point in the first set that he finished with a perfect backhand lob to the delight of the crowd. He cracked a forehand winner to earn the key break in the second set and then broke for a third time on the night to give himself breathing room.

Murray completed his triumph when Mannarino missed a drop shot. The 2009 Indian Wells finalist then pumped his fist and gave a clap for the California crowd inside Stadium 1.

“I thought my mentality was good tonight. I sort of focussed just on every single point. I don’t know if it felt it inside the stadium, but it was pretty breezy on the court, especially in the first set. Maybe some of the points were not that consistent, but I fought for every single point. That was the goal coming into the match and it got me the win.”

Murray has spoken highly of his next opponent, Alcaraz, who is making his tournament debut. The Scot told in August that if he had to pick a future World No. 1 from the young players on the ATP Tour, he would select Alcaraz.

“I think [Carlos] Alcaraz is really, really good,” Murray said. “I think he’s got a good chance at it.”

It will be the first ATP Head2Head meeting between the pair, with Murray 16 years older than the 18-year-old.

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