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Ruud Continues Turin Pursuit In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2021

Casper Ruud further improved his bid to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open as he extended his winning streak to nine matches, saving all eight break points he faced as he overcome Lloyd Harris 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 to reach the fourth round in Indian Wells.

The Norwegian captured his fifth tour-level title of the season in San Diego and first on hard last week to move to eighth (2,925 points) in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin. It left Ruud 150 points ahead of ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz before Indian Wells began and further clear of #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner (2,505) in 10th and Felix Auger-Aliassime (2,320) in 11th, who fell to Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round.

Ruud will be targeting a deep run at the BNP Paribas Open on his main draw debut at the ATP Masters 1000 event as he aims to make his debut at the season finale, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November.

[FOLLOW 1000]

“It was a very tough match and I was fortunate to get through in the end,” Ruud said in his on-court interview. “There were only some points here and there that decided this match. I saved a lot of break points and in crucial points I stepped up my game.

“It was frustrating because Lloyd was playing well and I was not really feeling the groove like I felt in the first match and in the end I was fortunate to get through.”

The 22-year-old raised his level in the crucial moments against Harris, hitting with great depth from the baseline to advance after two hours and 53 minutes and improve to 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head Series.

On his resilience, Ruud said: ““It is quite a simple quote my dad told me when I was young. He used to go to an academy called Rick Macci and he would always tell my father that losers find excuses and winners find a way. This is a quote my dad has been telling me for many years. You always try to find a way. Today I did. I was down pretty much the whole match and I found a way luckily.”

Ruud has enjoyed a standout season, clinching titles in Geneva, Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbühel alongside his San Diego triumph. He has won the most tour-level trophies this year and became the first Norwegian to crack the Top 10 in September.

The sixth seed will next face Diego Schwartzman after the Argentine battled back in Indian Wells for a second time this tournament, overcoming 18th seed Daniel Evans 5-7, 6-4, 6-0 to reach the fourth round in Indian Wells for the first time.

The 29-year-old, who is making his fourth appearance in California, saved two match points in his second-round victory over Maxime Cressy and backed this up against Evans, rallying from a set and 2-4 down to advance after two hours and 53 minutes.

With his victory, Schwartzman now leads Evans 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head Series after also defeating the Brit in the first round at the Western & Southern Open in August.

Earlier this season, Schwartzman, who is currently No. 15 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, captured the fourth tour-level title of his career on home soil in Buenos Aires. The Argentine arrived in Indian Wells in good form, after reaching the quarter-finals in San Diego at the start of October.

Evans was making his third appearance in Indian Wells and, like Schwartzman, was attempting to advance to the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open for the time.

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Monday Preview: Medvedev, Nitto ATP Finals Hopefuls Feature In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2021

Daniil Medvedev headlines action at the BNP Paribas Open on Monday, with Andrey Rublev, Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Aslan Karatsev also hoping to post strong performances to improve their chances of joining the World No. 2 at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held in Turin from 14-21 November.

Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic realises the magnitude of the challenge before him at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, two years on from beating Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 in the third round. Drawn together at the same stage today, this time Medvedev has won 17 of his past 18 matches on North American soil.

“It is a big-time [opportunity] for me,” Krajinovic told “Medvedev has been playing so well. He won the US Open, he is the best player in the world. I am very excited to play against him,” Krajinovic said. “I have played against him a couple of times already, I know how he plays. For sure he is the favourite for that match, but I have nothing to lose, I will try to enjoy it.”

Medvedev has since risen from No. 15 to No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, captured four ATP Masters 1000 trophies, and a maiden major trophy. In February, Medvedev beat Krajinovic 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0 at the Australian Open and when they meet for their third ATP Head2Head meeting in the final match on Stadium 1 Monday night, the Russian will be bidding to record his 50th match win of 2021 (49-10).

Medvedev admitted, “He can play [an] amazing level of tennis. I feel like if he will reproduce what he did today on the court, he can be a Top 20 [player] for years to come, like for many years at least Top 20.”

Such is the close nature of the FedEx ATP Race To Turin this year, with two months of the regular season left to play, that Rublev (4,120 points at the start of Indian Wells), the next in line to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, is separated by only 195 points from Matteo Berrettini (3,955) and Ruud (2,925), who plays South Africa’s Lloyd Harris first on Stadium 3.

Fourth seed Rublev, who takes on big-serving American Tommy Paul in the final match on Stadium 3, recorded an ATP Tour-leading 31 hard-court wins last year and so far this campaign has won 31 of his 47 matches on the surface. All three of their three previous meetings, all won by Rublev, have been closely fought, with the Russian winning 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 at the Mutua Madrid Open in May.

With seventh-placed Rafael Nadal sidelined due to injury for the rest of 2021, Hurkacz sits in ninth, the final automatic qualification spot on 2,775 points. But with Jannik Sinner (2,505) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (2,320) also vying for a place in Turin, Hurkacz will be hoping to record his second straight win over American Frances Tiafoe in their fourth meeting during the evening match on Stadium 2.

View FedEx ATP Race To Turin

In an eagerly anticipated third-round clash, third on Stadium 2, ninth-seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov takes on Russian 19th seed Karatsev for the first time. Karatsev is currently in 12th position in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin on 1,940 points, 835 points shy of Hurkacz.

Monday’s action on the main show court begins with two ATP Tour matches. Argentinean 11th seed Diego Schwartzman will be aiming to record his second win over Daniel Evans, the British 18th seed, two months on from his 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 first-round victory at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Second on, Bulgarian 23rd seed Grigor Dimitrov attempts to pass the Indian Wells third round for the first time on his eighth visit when he plays American 16th seed Reilly Opelka, this season’s National Bank Open Presented by Rogers finalist (l. to Medvedev).


STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – [11] D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs [18] D. Evans (GBR)
ATP – [23] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs [16] R. Opelka (USA)

Not Before 3:00 PM
WTA – [12] O. Jabeur (TUN) vs [22] D. Collins (USA)

Not Before 6:00 PM
WTA – [21] P. Badosa (ESP) vs [15] C. Gauff (USA)
ATP – [1] D. Medvedev (RUS) vs [27] F. Krajinovic (SRB)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [10] A. Kerber (GER) vs [20] D. Kasatkina (RUS)
WTA – [18] A. Kontaveit (EST) vs [16] B. Andreescu (CAN)
ATP – [9] D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs [19] A. Karatsev (RUS)

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – F. Tiafoe (USA) vs [8] H. Hurkacz (POL)

Not Before 8:00 PM
WTA – [3] B. Krejcikova (CZE) vs A. Anisimova (USA)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
ATP – [26] L. Harris (RSA) vs [6] C. Ruud (NOR)

Not Before 1:00 PM
WTA – [1] K. Pliskova (CZE) vs [LL] B. Haddad Maia (BRA)
WTA – [26] T. Zidansek (SLO) vs A. Tomljanovic (AUS)

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – [21] C. Norrie (GBR) vs [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
ATP – [4] A. Rublev (RUS) vs T. Paul (USA)

STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] A. Kalinskaya (RUS) vs V. Golubic (SUI)
WTA – B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / I. Swiatek (POL) vs [2] S. Hsieh (TPE) / E. Mertens (BEL)
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) / L. Sonego (ITA) vs [WC] J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA)
ATP – [5] K. Krawietz (GER) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs [WC] S. Johnson (USA) / S. Querrey (USA)

Not Before 6:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – ATP – J. Struff (GER) / A. Zverev (GER) vs R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Shapovalov (CAN)

STADIUM 6 start 12:00 noon
ATP – T. Puetz (GER) / M. Venus (NZL) vs [2] R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR)
ATP – S. Gille (BEL) / J. Vliegen (BEL) vs [8] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

Watch Sunday Highlights From Indian Wells

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Arevalo/Middelkoop Earn Clash Against Top Seeds Mektic/Pavic In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2021

Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop battled through a nail-biting Match Tie-break on Sunday evening to defeat South African Raven Klaasen and Japan’s Ben McLachlan 6-2, 0-6, 11-9 in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open.

It will not get easier for the unseeded duo, which will next play top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, who have won nine titles together this year. The Croatians eliminated Americans Mackenzie McDonald and Brandon Nakashima 6-2, 6-2.


In other action, Dutchmen Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer reached the second round by beating American Austin Krajicek and German Andreas Mies 1-6, 7-6(4), 10-5. 

Rojer has lifted two men’s doubles major trophies, winning Wimbledon in 2015 and the US Open in 2017 with Horia Tecau. Koolhof triumphed at last year’s Nitto ATP Finals alongside Mektic.

Koolhof and Rojer will next face Australian John Peers and Slovakian Filip Polasek, who also came through a tight encounter Sunday. The seventh seeds outlasted Uruguayan Ariel Behar and Ecuador’s Gonzalo Escobar 7-5, 6-7(1), 10-7 in just under two hours.

Russian singles stars Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev also advanced with a 6-3, 5-7, 10-3 victory against Italian Simone Bolelli and Argentine Maximo Gonzalez.

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Tsitsipas Soars Under The Lights In Indian Wells Opener

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2021

A night in the desert is just to Stefanos Tsitsipas’ liking with the second seed shining under the lights to win his opening match against Pedro Martinez at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.

In his third appearance, the Greek moved into the third round at Indian Wells for the first time following a 6-2, 6-4 victory over the World No. 61. Tsitsipas needed 93 minutes to prevail as he claimed 63 per cent of first-serve points and 80 per cent on second serves.

The Greek’s 22 winners were four more than his opponent’s but he was far more consistent as he made just 11 unforced errors to the Spaniard’s 21. The win set a third-round clash against 25th seed Fabio Fognini, a three-set winner over Jan-Lennard Struff.

“Well it’s been a great night for me. The first time playing a night session here on this court,” Tsitsipas said. “[I’m] pretty happy with the way I fought and found a way to clinch that victory at the end… I’ve played [Fognini] before. I’m looking forward to that match-up.”

Tsitsipas was on the hunt early but took 17 minutes of play to secure a 2-0 advantage at the fourth time of asking. He carried the momentum to snare the first set on the back of 11 winners – eight off his forehand – and committed just five unforced errors.

The Greek did not drop a set in the only previous ATP Head2Head meeting between the pair when they met in the second round at Roland Garros this year. But he was forced to dig deep to avoid their Indian Wells rematch going the distance.

Martinez immediately broke at the start of the second set and the World No. 61 consolidated for 3-1 before Tsitsipas began to back his extra weight of shot again. The second seed reeled off three straight games to edge his nose in front and broke for the second time to secure the contest.

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Murray Aces Underarm Serve: 'It's A Smart Play'

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2021

Andy Murray’s tennis arsenal is full of tricks, and the former World No. 1 debuted a new one on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open: the underarm serve.

The Scot, who had never hit an underarm serve in a tour-level match, caught off guard #NextGenATP star Carlos Alcaraz at 1-1 in the second set. The play resulted in an ace in his 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 victory.

“If you look where he was standing at the beginning of the match to return the first serve in comparison… he changed that at the end of the first set. He started returning from further back, so it was even harder to get free points on the serve,” Murray said. “I thought if he’s going to stand that far back and I’m getting no love from the court and the conditions, why not try it and see if I can bring him forward a little bit again?”

The Spanish teen was returning from far behind the baseline inside Stadium 2. His positioning served as an invitation for Murray to try something different. Alcaraz barely budged, knowing he was beaten by the play.

“Wasn’t expecting obviously to get an ace out of it. He was so far back, he didn’t obviously react. Wasn’t expecting it. I was thinking about using it at times in the third set, but obviously up in the score, was doing a little bit better, didn’t feel like I needed to,” Murray said. “Certainly when guys are standing there to return serve now, it’s a smart play.”

The underarm serve got plenty of attention on social media, but that was far from the only impressive moment of the match. Murray saved eight of the 10 break points he faced to battle past his opponent after three hours and four minutes.

“Obviously I’m happy. It was kind of like at the US Open, my body did well today… It was hard conditions. It was very hot. Because of the nature of the court here, you’re going to play some long rallies, especially against a player like him,” Murray said. “At times I played some really good tennis. It wasn’t my best match. I can certainly still do things better. I thought I competed well today, which was probably the most pleasing part for me.”

Murray, who is into the third round in Indian Wells for the ninth time, will next face an in-form foe in Tokyo Olympics singles gold medallist Alexander Zverev, who clawed past #NextGenATP American Jenson Brooksby in three sets on Sunday.

The Scot leads their ATP Head2Head series 2-0, with their most recent clash coming at last year’s Western & Southern Open in New York. Murray won that match 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

“Obviously Zverev is a top player. He’s had a good summer post-Wimbledon with the Olympics, then a great run in New York. Played a tough match with Novak there,” Murray said. “[It is] not going to be easy for me. I played some good matches against him in the past. Will need to play really well.”

Did You Know?
When Murray plays Zverev, he will try to advance past the third round of an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time since winning the Rolex Paris Masters in 2016.

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Krajinovic On Medvedev Clash: 'It Is A Big-Time Opportunity For Me'

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2021

Serbian Filip Krajinovic has a lot of respect for Russian Daniil Medvedev. But that will not stop the World No. 34 from giving the top seed his best shot on Monday in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

“It is a big-time [opportunity] for me,” Krajinovic told “Medvedev has been playing so well.”

Two years ago at the BNP Paribas Open, Filip Krajinovic cruised past then-World No. 15 Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 in just 78 minutes. If the Serbian repeats that feat on Monday in Indian Wells, it will certainly be more surprising.

Since that defeat, the Russian has rapidly ascended to the top of the sport. Now No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Medvedev has since won four ATP Masters 1000 titles and just claimed his maiden major trophy at the US Open.

“He won the US Open, he is the best player in the world. I am very excited to play against him,” Krajinovic said. “I have played against him a couple of times already, I know how he plays. For sure he is the favourite for that match, but I have nothing to lose, I will try to enjoy it.”

Filip Krajinovic
Krajinovic won his 100th tour-level match in the first round of Indian Wells. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images.
Their most recent clash came in the third round of this year’s Australian Open, where Krajinovic controlled the action at moments before Medvedev triumphed 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0.

“I played really well. In Australia, we played five sets. But in Australia, it was different conditions than here, so let’s see,” Krajinovic said. “I am excited. I know he is going to play his best game and is ready to play and I am also ready, so let’s see.”

The 2017 Rolex Paris Masters finalist is well aware that today’s Medvedev is not the same one he faced in the desert two-and-a-half years ago. One part of the top seed’s game he thinks is particularly strong is his serve, adding that, “Everybody knows his serve is a big weapon”.

“I think he has improved a lot. Physically he is much better. He is serving so well. I think it is tough to beat him as he has no weakness right now,” Krajinovic said. “But as I said, I have nothing to lose so I am going to step it up and play aggressively.”

Medvedev also knows he faces a tough challenge against Krajnovic. After their Australian Open clash, he said in the fourth set the Serbian played “perfect tennis”.

“He can play [an] amazing level of tennis,” Medvedev said. “I feel like if he will reproduce what he did today on the court, he can be a Top 20 [player] for years to come, like for many years at least Top 20.”
Krajinovic has climbed as high as World No. 26 and in the first round against Marcos Giron, he claimed his 100th tour-level victory.

He is comfortable in Indian Wells, where he made the third round in 2018 and the fourth round in 2019. Only Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were able to stop him in those editions of the Masters 1000 event.

“I love this place. I have been playing so well here the past couple of years,” Krajinovic said. “I am excited because I love the facilities here, I love the courts. I enjoy being here.

“Every player enjoys the big stages, that is why I am practising, that is what I live for: [competing] in front of this crowd and the big stage.”

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Zverev Qualifies For 2021 Nitto ATP Finals

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2021

Germany’s Alexander Zverev is the fourth singles player to qualify for the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November.

The 24-year-old, who lifted the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals trophy in London, will compete in the season finale for the fifth consecutive year.

“I’ve had my best season so far and I am really happy to have qualified,” Zverev said. “I will be playing in Turin for the first time and I love competing in Italy in front of passionate fans. I have had good results in Italy and hope it will continue that way.”

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Zverev Fights Off Inspired Brooksby At Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2021

Alexander Zverev has survived a stern challenge from #NextGenATP American Jenson Brooksby to open his campaign for a third ATP Masters 1000 trophy of the season at Indian Wells on Sunday.

The German third seed overcame the 20-year-old home hope 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in one hour and 48 minutes to set a third-round showdown with former World No. 1 Andy Murray, an earlier winner over #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.

Zverev, who was victorious in Madrid and Cincinnati this season, won 73 per cent of first-serve points, including 12 aces, in the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting. He ended the match with 28 winners to Brooksby’s 17, but his 35 unforced errors were 14 more than his opponent committed.

“Especially in the second set I didn’t see the ball well on [one] side of the court because of the sun,” Zverev said. “It wasn’t an easy match, but I’m happy to be through, I’m happy to be in the third round and playing Andy now.

“I think he’s the only one of the Big Four I haven’t beaten yet, so I hope I can change that. I think it’s incredible how well he’s moving and incredible how well he’s playing. I think he’s very motivated so I hope I can show my best tennis.”

Fifth in the ATP Race to Milan, Brooksby had beaten Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel in the opening round in his first match since he made the fourth round at the US Open last month, where he took a set from top seed Novak Djokovic. He had shone on home soil in recent months, with a maiden ATP Tour final in Newport, before a semi-final run in Washington, and looked as though he could continue that solid run when he recovered from a break down to take the second set against Zverev.

The German halted any momentum his younger opponent had built however, when he broke for 2-0 in the deciding set. It proved the final turning point as he put the foot down to complete victory on a trio of aces.

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