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Hurkacz Boosts Turin Hopes In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2021

Hubert Hurkacz got a double dose of good news Wednesday when he boosted his Nitto ATP Finals hopes at the direct expense of qualification rival Aslan Karatsev, cruising past his fellow Turin contender 6-1, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals in Indian Wells.

The 24-year-old, who also advanced to the last eight in California in 2019, clinched his third tour-level title of the season in Metz last month and began the match in ninth spot (2,865 points) in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin.

The eighth seed is aiming to make his debut at the season finale, to be held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November. Hurkacz hit with consistent depth against Karatsev as he dictated from the baseline to advance after 64 minutes.

On trying to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, Hurkacz said: “Of course, you want to be there. It’s the last tournament of the year for the eight best players in the world, so you try to do your best. You know, just trying your best and whoever is gotten there, that meant they had a better year than you.”

Hurkacz has now levelled his ATP Head2Head series with the Russian at 1-1, gaining revenge from his defeat to Karatsev in San Diego in September. He will next face top seed Daniil Medvedev or Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals. The Pole is yet to drop a set in Indian Wells, having overcome Alexei Popyrin or Frances Tiafoe in his first two matches.

“Today’s performance was good on my side,” Hurkacz said. “I returned well. I was making a lot of balls. I was also getting some free points on the serve, so that was very important for today’s game.”


Earlier this year, Hurkacz lifted the trophy at the Delray Beach Open by, before he captured his first ATP Masters 1000 crown at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Karatsev, who was making his debut in Indian Wells, sits 12th (2030) in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin. The 29-year-old was aiming for a strong run in California to close the gap on those above him, with 10th placed Jannik Sinner (2595) still alive in Indian Wells.

Fellow Turin hopeful Casper Ruud, who began the match in seventh spot (3,015) in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, was unable to follow in Hurkacz’s footsteps as Diego Schwartzman beat him 6-3, 6-3.

In an entertaining clash, Schwartzman played aggressively and manoeuvred Ruud around the court, breaking four times to advance after one hour and 44 minutes.

“It is a big win because I was trying to find my best tennis,” Schwartzman said. “At the beginning of the year I was very tired, it was not easy for the South American players to be travelling all the time. [With] no way to go back home, it was very tough. Sometimes your mind is not there. Since Roland Garros, when the bubbles finished on the ATP Tour, I started to feel a little bit better and I am practising better than before.”

The Argentine had never been beyond the third round in six previous appearances in Indian Wells. He will face Los Cabos champion Cameron Norrie or American Tommy Paul in the quarter-finals.

“I am playing better, I am feeling better,” Schwartzman added. “I am running, I am hitting winners, I am serving better and returning better. The confidence is high right now, so now is a good time.”

Schwartzman lifted the trophy on home soil in Buenos Aires in March and will be aiming to reach his second tour-level semi-final of the season in Indian Wells.

Having lost his past two meetings against Ruud, Schwartzman now leads the Norwegian 5-2 in their ATP Head2Head Series. The 29-year-old saved two match points in his first-round victory against Maxime Cressy and battled from a set-and-a-break down in his second match against Daniel Evans.

Ruud, who was making his main draw debut at the BNP Paribas Open, captured his fifth tour-level title of the season in San Diego at the start of October. Like Hurkacz, the 22-year-old is aiming to make his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals in November.

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Formula 1 & Minis: Hurkacz's Love Of Cars

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2021

Hubert Hurkacz has hit the gas pedal on his career this season, winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami and reaching a career-high No. 11 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. It is only fitting that the Pole is a big fan of cars.

The 24-year-old’s passion for them started at a young age, when he enjoyed collecting mini car models.

“I always would ask my parents to get me another one. To be honest, they were a bit tough on me. They didn’t want to get me those,” Hurkacz told, cracking a laugh. “But since then I loved cars.”

For years, when Hurkacz has passed an interesting car on the road, he has done research to find as much information about it as possible. He remembers first driving a car in his late teens and loving the experience immediately.

“From the beginning, I just enjoyed driving a car, enjoyed fast cars and go karts when I was a kid,” Hurkacz said. “I didn’t go that often. But I really like motorsports and I love Formula 1.”


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The 24-year-old has always enjoyed Formula 1. But he became an even bigger fan after watching Netflix’s ‘Drive To Survive’, a behind-the-scenes documentary of a season in the sort.

“I [began to] really follow it every single race, qualifying. I really enjoyed watching,” Hurkacz said. “[There is] such a big process to get the car ready for the race, there’s so much data, so many things.

“The drivers are just insane driving these machines that are so fast.

“I really love McLaren. A couple of weeks ago they had an amazing win. There’s of course Lando (Norris) and Daniel Ricciardo, so, I also really like Charles Leclerc. I like most of the drivers, but I would say those are my favourites.”

There is a Polish Formula 1 driver, Robert Kubica — currently a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo — who overcame a nearly fatal accident a decade ago. Earlier this year, Kubica filled in for former world champion Kimi Raikkonen after the Finn tested positive for Covid-19.

“I’ve never met him personally, that would be amazing if I can talk to him of course,” Hurkacz said. “I was supporting him, I was super happy about the comeback that he made into Formula 1, and now he’s the third driver [for Alfa Romeo].

“It’s incredible after what he has gone through, that he was able to come back. It’s really insane and it’s very inspiring.”


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Hurkacz is enjoying his tennis at the BNP Paribas Open, where he will play Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev in the fourth round. But before the tournament, he also enjoyed the proximity to nice, clear roads.

That is because Hurkacz is driving a McLaren 720s during the tournament, and he was able to go for a joy ride to recharge before the event. During the US Open, he drove another McLaren.

“Can’t complain about my ride to the US Open this year,” he wrote on social media.

Hurkacz will now hope to accelerate once more as he tries to secure one of the final four spots in the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin from 14-21 November. That pursuit continues on Wednesday against Karatsev.

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Gamers: Fritz On Night Time Studying & His FIFA Pursuit

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2021

Taylor Fritz upset fifth seed Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday to reach the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open. The American will face 10th seed Jannik Sinner on Wednesday for a place in the Indian Wells quarter-finals. caught up with Fritz before the match to learn about his passion for video games, how he plays on the road and more.

When do you remember first getting into video games?
I was always into video games. Probably my first video game ever was one of those Pokemon games on the Gameboy when I was a kid. But then I think I really got into it when I found out that you could play online against other people. Just the idea of competition like that, I mean that’s what I love about sports so much, the competition.

When I was a kid that was the most entertaining thing to me, going up against somebody else. So when I found out I could go on Xbox with my friends and play Call of Duty at night against other people and talk [smack] to them while doing it, it was really fun for me. So I think that probably happened around sixth or seventh grade.

I’d come home from school every day and tell my parents I did my homework and get on Xbox with my friends and play Call of Duty. I think that’s where it started for me, probably. We would do zombies, we would do multiplayer, we would do everything. I just think once it got to the point where I could actually play with people and against people, that’s when it really peaked my interest a lot.

If you had to pick your three favourite games, what would they be?
It’d be easier to say of all time. So at the peak of the game I enjoyed it the most, probably the first couple of months that Fortnite was out is pretty unbeatable. Just the friends hopping on and stuff. Then, probably Call of Duty Black Ops 2 I played a lot of. I loved that game. And then, as a kid I also played a lot of World of Warcraft. I’d say that’s up there for me, too.

At what point did it become more of a serious thing and not just having fun with friends?
I mean, it still is. That’s what it is. I just became better at it from doing it a lot and me just being the competitive person that I am. Whatever game I’m playing, I’m always watching better people play, I’m studying what they’re doing.

When I’m in bed going to sleep, I’ll watch videos and such to try to get that little extra that might make me better at the game. I’ll do stuff like that and I just got better at certain games though playing and learning and watching. So it’s still just fun for me, but it’s just nice that I can play in some of these events and compete with good players.

What are you best at right now?
Probably Apex Legends, it’s a pretty popular game right now. I’d say that’s probably my best game right now. But the best I’ve ever been at a game for sure was FIFA. I got injured back in 2016, 2017. It was FIFA 17 at the time and I played that game so much when I was injured, I studied it so much and practised so much, I got to Top 100 in North America.

That was the first year they had rankings in FIFA, they had a ranking system, so I got really into it that year because I was really motivated to try and get on the leaderboard.

Do you care about soccer besides FIFA, or do you just like the video game?
FIFA helped get me into soccer. I like watching soccer, it’s probably my second-favourite sport to watch.

When did you start carrying stuff with you on the road?
It’s changed a lot throughout the years. Now, I’ve realised the easiest way to do it is just to bring a gaming PC, plug a controller into it, and then I’ve got my screen, my console. Everything is all together. It’s very easy to do that. Now there’s crossplay, so if you’re on a computer you can play with people on PlayStation and Xbox.

Back a while ago you couldn’t do that, so I would bring a PlayStation so I could still play with all of my friends. I’d pack the PlayStation — it was a slim PlayStation — in my backpack, and then I’d put a 24-inch monitor, the screen, into my suitcase. Then maybe I’d put the stand for the monitor in my tennis bag. To be honest, it was pretty easy. It seems like a lot, but it was pretty easy to bring it week-to-week. But now it’s so easy, I just bring a gaming laptop, put it in my backpack and that’s it.

So it takes no time to even set up?
It’s literally just taking out a laptop and putting in a charger, maybe plugging in a mouse, plugging in a controller, but nothing crazy.

How much does it help you get away a little bit from tennis?
It definitely helps me to not be bored. Especially when last year we had a lot of tournaments where we couldn’t leave the room, you were just kind of killing time. In weeks where we’re in a cool city and my friends are there, I won’t take out the games much at all, because I’ll have stuff to do.

It definitely just helps if I’m bored. And obviously after practices I’m tired, so I don’t really want to go out and do stuff. It’s kind of just something to do in the room that can be fun.

How much of a respect do you have for all of these e-sport athletes?
A lot. I like to watch e-sports a lot, I love watching competitive play. It’s amazing how good these guys are at a lot of these games, and they really work at it and I can’t imagine it’s even fun at that point when you’re doing it that much. People probably look at tennis and are like ‘Oh, it’s so fun’ but practising four or five hours a day is not fun.

You do something so much, once it becomes a profession, you’re working at it so much, it’s not that much fun anymore (laughs). So these guys, I have a lot of respect for how hard they work to become so good at it.

You got involved in an e-sports team. What can you tell me about that?
I’m just part of a company that owns a Call of Duty league team, the London Ravens, and then Rogue, which is a big e-sports organisation across many different games. They have the top team in Europe for League of Legends, which is the biggest e-sport in the world right now, so I’m excited to watch them. They’re in the World Championships and it’s starting really soon, so I’ll be watching that.

Is it interesting to see from a business perspective, seeing all aspects of the whole e-sports business?
Yeah, it’s awesome. A lot of my friends at home in Los Angeles are people that are involved in the gaming industry, so I’m pretty tied into it. It’s been really cool meeting a lot of these people and understanding the ins and outs of the industry and it’s something I’ve always been interested in.

How big of a setup do you have at home?
I got a whole thing at home, it’s nice. That’s the one thing about travelling, I’ll be on the road and I’ll be playing on my laptop. It’s a smaller screen, not great internet, it’s just not the same. It’s always nice to go home. I just have a desk with a nice PC, a really solid PC, and two big screens. It’s just really nice, I love coming home.

It’s your video game corner…
Yeah, I’ve got a little game room. I definitely want to improve it even more, but it’s a lot so I think I’m gonna wait until I move again and then I’m going to really go big on it.

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Tursunov On Karatsev: 'He Was Always Talented'

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2021

Earlier this year, Aslan Karatsev, one of the breakthrough stars of 2021, told that former World No. 20 Dmitry Tursunov helped him earlier in his career. There is even footage on YouTube of the pair hitting during preseason training in Dubai when Tursunov was still an active player.

Tursunov is now a coach, who works with WTA star Anett Kontaveit. spoke to the Russian during the BNP Paribas Open to learn how he feels Karatsev has developed from those days until now.

As a player, was it apparent back then that Aslan always had the ability to improve his game to where he is now?
He always had massive calves. I think that’s his trademark. I think each calf should have some logo (laughs). But yeah, he was always talented. Whether he did it consciously or subconsciously I don’t know — probably more subconscious at that point — but he moved very well. He’s not the tallest guy, but he’s pretty athletic. You could see it in his movement, the way he controlled his body. A lot of it wasn’t really taught, it just comes naturally and you can enhance it by training.

But I think initially he just had a good build for the sport. He’s not too tall, he’s not too bulky. He’s just like a Da Vinci Man for tennis in a way. He felt the ball pretty well, he had the power, but it kind of comes in a very non-aggressive way. The acceleration is quite linear, so he doesn’t look like he’s hitting the ball hard. But when you hit it, it’s pretty heavy. He’s similar to a Marat Safin, but Marat was a little bit taller, so he had longer levers. But he was also athletic, moved like a cat on the court, so Aslan is sort of similar in that sense.

Aslan Karatsev
Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour
How similar is he to Berdych with the easy power?
I think Berdych was more precision than raw power. He didn’t knock your racquet out. Some players, the ball looks deceivingly soft and then when it hits you, it hits you like a brick. Some people swing and make a lot of noise, but the ball doesn’t really hurt you. There are a few players who have that power.

Rafa looks violent when he hits the ball and then the ball is violent, so it kind of matches the way it looks and the way it feels. With Aslan, it almost is a little deceiving. It doesn’t sound like he’s hitting the ball very hard, but when it lands on your racquet, you feel like it’s pretty heavy.

You mentioned his calves. All jokes aside, from a tennis perspective, how important is it to have that physique to deal with the physical matches?
It’s a lot of work, but it’s also just not something you can just train in three months. It’s a gradual build-up of the ability and so he’s a bit of a late bloomer by men’s tennis standards. He started playing really well only recently, only maybe last year. His game I don’t think changed so much, maybe just his understanding of it: how to use it, when to hit, where to hit. [It is] just his understanding of his game. I think he needed to mature a little bit as a player, but again I haven’t really watched his career that much.

I saw he was playing a lot of Challengers. Number-wise, they look like they’re much weaker tournaments, but you still have to play a [good] guys. There are players who were in the Top 100 and got injured and are working their way back up, or some players who are close to the Top 100. You still have to play a lot of good players and I think men’s tennis has that depth where you have a lot of players who are good enough to make your life difficult, so you can’t just go through matches without breaking a sweat.

There are legitimately five tough matches that you might have to play. They might just be marginally a little bit easier than some of the ATP matches, but not by much. That’s kind of the reason why I stopped. To get back into the Top 100 I had to win these tournaments and I didn’t have the health to win two tournaments in a row, and I needed that. That’s why I think for some players it’s a little bit harder to break through, they need to put their game together.

Essentially if you’re doing well on the Challenger circuit, you can do well on the ATP circuit as well. I think if you’re winning Challenger tournaments, it’s just a matter of time before you start doing well at the ATP-level. The level is not that different in terms of physical ability.

Russia's Aslan Karatsev has surged into the Top 30 of the FedEx ATP Rankings.
Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour
When you were mentioning about his technical game and how he’s learned where to put the ball and when, to what extent is that an experience thing that clicks one day? I think it just builds up over time. It sort of feels like it clicks one day. Some things, little “Aha!” moments come in one day. But you plant that seed a little bit earlier. Something that maybe clicks today might have been put to work a few months ago. And then a lot of times it’s maybe just one match that kind of can switch your confidence and belief that something you managed to stay in the point long enough.

Your coach can talk about it, but there might be this one particular game or a point in the match that can really drive that point home and really just open your eyes to a concept. I’m sure over one day he didn’t become an ATP player, but I think the gradual work that he had over the past two, three years, it all of a sudden kind of just came together as he started winning Challengers. If you start winning tournaments, building up your confidence in your own game, you start gaining belief in the concepts that at first you weren’t really trusting, that can have a little snowball effect.

And then once you start rolling, you’re able to never look back?
You still have to put in the work once you start rolling. But it’s easier to roll once you get going. But I also think maturity comes into play quite a bit. Now he’s a completely different person and player than three years ago in terms of understanding what it takes to be professional day-in and day-out.

There are a lot of things, but that’s what it looks like to everybody else because no one knows him. All of a sudden, he’s winning and so it’s like ‘Oh, he came from nowhere’. But no, he’s been playing tennis since he was a [baby]. It doesn’t happen magically in one day. The story looks pretty like ‘Oh, he came from nowhere’, but it’s not as glamorous behind the scenes as it is under the stage lights.

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Wednesday Preview: Medvedev Meets Dimitrov, Turin Hopefuls In Pursuit

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2021

A maiden BNP Paribas Open quarter-final is on the line as top seed Daniil Medvedev looks to extend his blistering run on North American hard courts against former World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday. With Nitto ATP Finals spots up for grabs, Hubert Hurkacz, Casper Ruud, Aslan Karatsev and Jannik Sinner all look to boost their standing in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin.

In a showdown between last year’s Nitto ATP Finals winner and the 2017 champion, Medvedev enters his contest against Dimitrov with a 3-1 ATP Head2Head record, including a straight-sets result in their only meeting this season in the round of 16 in Cincinnati. Dimitrov’s sole victory came on grass at Queen’s Club back in 2017

But the Bulgarian has played himself back into form on Californian hard courts in recent weeks. He notched a first tour-level semi-final of 2021 last week in San Diego before his defeat of 16th seed Reilly Opelka sent him through to the fourth round for the first time in eight appearances at Indian Wells.

Medvedev arrived at Indian Wells with a 3-3 record, but has already bettered his best result with his third-round defeat of Filip Krajinovic, his 50th match win of the season. The US Open champion has won 18 of his past 19 matches on North American soil and 40 of his past 43 sets.

“I feel like I’m trying to play a little bit less… just playing the biggest tournaments, or the ones that will get me back into shape, so I’m really happy that I managed to get 50 [wins]. It means that I was doing pretty good in a lot of them,” Medvedev said.


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Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a three-set battle against former World No. 9 Fabio Fognini on Tuesday night to set a fourth-round clash against Australian Alex de Minaur. The Greek will carry a 5-0 ATP Head2Head record into the match with the 22nd seed, a straight-sets winner over Chilean 15th seed Cristian Garin.

Tsitsipas remained on course for a second ATP Masters 1000 trophy this season following his first in Monte-Carlo in April. De Minaur’s victory over Garin was his first over a Top 20 opponent this season and the first time he had won consecutive matches since he claimed his fifth career title at Eastbourne in June.

German Alexander Zverev has hit a rich vein of form since Wimbledon with runs to the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and the Western & Southern Open title in Cincinnati. The third seed defeated Andy Murray for the first time to match his best run at Indian Wells in what was his 19th win from his past 20 matches.

Zverev is on the hunt for another first-time win when he takes on 14th seed Gael Monfils, a straight-sets winner over former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson. Monfils, who brings a 3-0 ATP Head2Head record into the match, is rediscovering his form following a run to the Sofia Open final last week.

His conqueror in that match, Italian Jannik Sinner, continues his bid for a maiden Nitto ATP Finals berth when he meets American 31st seed Taylor Fritz for the first time. Tenth in the FedEx Race To Turin, Sinner joins fellow contenders eighth-placed Casper Ruud, ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz and 12th place Aslan Karatsev in action on Wednesday.

Miami Open champion Hurkacz looks to level a 0-1 ATP Head2Head record against 19th seed Karatsev, while Ruud chases a third straight win against 11th seed Diego Schwartzman after losing the pair’s first four ATP Head2Head encounters.


STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – [11] D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs [6] C. Ruud (NOR) 
ATP – [1] D. Medvedev (RUS) vs [23] G. Dimitrov (BUL) 

Not Before 3:00 PM
WTA – [27] V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [19] J. Pegula (USA)

Not Before 6:00 PM
WTA – S. Rogers (USA) vs [24] J. Ostapenko (LAT)
ATP – [14] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [3] A. Zverev (GER) 

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – [19] A. Karatsev (RUS) vs [8] H. Hurkacz (POL) 
ATP – T. Paul (USA) vs [21] C. Norrie (GBR) 
ATP – [31] T. Fritz (USA) vs [10] J. Sinner (ITA) 

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – [22] A. de Minaur (AUS) vs [2] S. Tsitsipas (GRE) 
ATP – [1] N. Mektic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO) vs [7] J. Peers (AUS) / F. Polasek (SVK) 

STADIUM 3 start 1:00 pm
WTA – V. Kudermetova (RUS) / E. Rybakina (KAZ) vs M. Bouzkova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
ATP – [29] N. Basilashvili (GEO) vs [24] K. Khachanov (RUS) 

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – [5] K. Krawietz (GER) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs T. Puetz (GER) / M. Venus (NZL) 

Watch Tuesday Highlights From Indian Wells

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Tsitsipas Rebounds To Beat Fognini In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2021

Stefanos Tsitsipas has surged back from a set and a break down to hold off former World No. 9 Fabio Fognini in the third round at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.

The Greek was rattled early on against the 30th seed, but worked his way back into the match for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in two hours and four minutes. It set a fourth-round meeting with 22nd seed Alex de Minaur after the Australian’s 6-4, 6-2 win against 15th seed Cristian Garin.

Tsitsipas extended his ATP Head2Head record against the Italian to 3-0 as he finished with 21 winners – including 10 off the forehand – and 28 unforced errors. Fognini clocked 32 winners – 22 of those off his forehand – but committed 32 unforced errors.

“Great comeback, honestly… I don’t know what happened,” Tsitsipas said. “I really wanted to get back in the match and it happened somehow.

“From [a set and a break down] I just took it point by point and it worked out pretty well. A good mindset and also a bit of patience helped as well. I found solutions in those tough moments and really felt like I had momentum.”

Fognini set the tone early when he broke in the opening game on Stadium 1 and his sustained aggression had Tsitsipas unable to make any real inroads as the first set wore on. The Italian withstood a break point as he closed to within a game of the set.

It was all slipping away fast from the Greek as he stared down two set points on serve at the 33-minute mark. While he survived those, his opponent secured it a game later and pressed early in the second set as he broke for 2-1.

The crowd rallied behind the second seed when he broke for the first time to draw level and it marked an immediate switch in momentum as Fognini’s error count grew. Tsitsipas carried the advantage to level the match at a set apiece and capitalised on a string of loose unforced errors from the Italian to land the crucial break for 3-2 in the deciding set and never looked back as he extended his tour-leading match wins this season to 53.

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Paul On The Prowl: 'You Want To See Him Have Success'

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2021

Tommy Paul was disappointed on Monday evening, but he was still having a blast. The American had just failed to serve out his third-round match at the BNP Paribas Open against fourth seed Andrey Rublev.

But instead of panicking, he took a moment to feel the atmosphere inside Stadium 4 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

“I was mad that I didn’t hold and win the match, but I wasn’t too upset to be out there a little longer,” Paul told “It was so much fun every changeover having the people scream your name and get loud. For a second I literally just closed my eyes and I was just like soaking it in before that last game. I was like, ‘This is unreal. I could be out here for five sets, I don’t care’.

Paul rebounded to earn his first ATP Head2Head victory against Rublev 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 and reach the fourth round at an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time. He will play in-form Briton Cameron Norrie for a spot in his first quarter-final at this level.

Fifteen minutes after match point, the 24-year-old still had a big smile on his face. It was not just because he earned his first win against a top five opponent, but the fun he had doing it.

“You get up and you’re about to return or you’re about to play a game and you hear everyone, the energy coming from everybody. It’s just hard not to feel it coming into your body. It’s a good feeling,” Paul said. “It’s almost like an adrenaline from people, just energy from people. It’s a feeling that you can’t ignore. It’s impossible to ignore the feeling, so you might as well embrace it. I love it.”

It appeared during his teens that Paul would be enjoying moments like that often. The American won the 2015 Roland Garros boys’ singles title and in 2017, as a 20-year-old, he made the Washington quarter-finals in which he held three match points before losing against Kei Nishikori.

But it took Paul until September 2019 to break into the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings as he struggled to find consistency. The Florida resident has not made an ATP Tour final.

“He still has so many more things in front of him that are going to be new and exciting and hopefully that he’s going to make a splash at,” said Brad Stine, Paul’s coach.

The former coach of former World No. 1 Jim Courier noted that his charge broke onto the scene six years ago, but this is only Paul’s second full season on the ATP Tour. Stine is greatly enjoying the process of trying to improve the World No. 60’s game.

“I’ve known Tommy really since he was about 14 or 15 when I first went back to the USTA. He’s just such a personable guy. He just draws you in. It’s hard not to root for Tommy Paul when you’re around him and get to know him,” Stine said. “That makes you want to be that much more invested in what goes on with him. You want to see him have success because of that.

“He’s a guy who makes losing hurt if that makes sense. The winning is always nice, but the losing hurts more when you’re with someone whom you’re that invested in.”

It does not take long being around Paul to notice that he is one of the more relaxed and well-liked guys in the locker room. He is typically hanging out with friends, including Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Frances Tiafoe and Mackenzie McDonald. You are more likely to catch him discussing the Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Eagles than a match being played.

“I’m much more laid back and relaxed than a normal tennis player. A lot of tennis players are pretty weird. I like to think that I’m a little bit more normal,” Paul said, cracking a laugh. “Obviously when I’m home I hang out with Reilly or whoever down there, but then I have friends who aren’t in sports. I like to say that I’m normal, but at the same time it’s impossible to be with the schedule.

“Everyone wants to plan events and do stuff, and I’m like I’m in Monaco or Russia or something. That’s different, but for the most part I like to live a 24-year-old’s lifestyle.”

Follow Paul on social media and you’ll periodically see posts at a sporting venue, on a boat, or something of the sort. But that does not mean he is not taking care of business and doing everything he can to maximise his potential.

“Don’t get it twisted. I’m busting my a** when I’m practising. I’m working hard with my trainer and working very hard with my coach,” Paul said. “But at the same time when I have opportunities to live a normal life, I try to.”

Stine said that Paul could be “loosey-goosey” on the practice court sometimes. But the coach is measured in how he deals with that. After all, he earned one of his biggest wins yet on Monday having a blast.

“I said one of my goals has been not to beat the fun out of Tommy, because I think he plays his best tennis when he’s having fun,” Stine said. “I think the competition is fun for Tommy in the first place.”

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Top Seeds Soar To Set Peers/Polasek Clash In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2021

Top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic are comfortably through to the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals after dismissing Marcelo Arevalo and Matwe Middelkoop in straight sets on Tuesday.

The Croatian duo – champions nine times already this season, including at Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and three Masters 1000 events – advanced 6-1, 6-3 over the Salvadoran/Dutch combination. They dropped just six points on their first serve and saved both break points to set a clash with seventh seeds John Peers and Filip Polasek.


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Since 2000, only Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan have won 10 titles in a season. In only their first season together, Mektic and Pavic have a chance to equal the feat at Indian Wells as they search for their first trophy since clinching the gold medal in Tokyo.

Peers/Polasek beat Dutch duo Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4, 7-6(5) in 99 minutes for their third straight quarter-final spot, following their run to the US Open semi-finals and San Diego Open final. The Australian/Slovak tandem won 76 per cent of first-serve points but converted just three of 11 break point chances.

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Zverev Battles Past Murray In Indian Wells

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2021

It is not how you start, it’s how you finish, and Alexander Zverev did that well on Tuesday afternoon to eliminated former World No. 1 Andy Murray at the BNP Paribas Open.

Despite falling behind a break in both sets, the third seed overcame a game Murray 6-4, 7-5 to reach the fourth round in Indian Wells for the first time since 2016. The German will next play 14th seed Gael Monfils or two-time major finalist Kevin Anderson.

“He’s the only one of the Big Four that I hadn’t beaten yet, so I’m happy that I’ve done it today,” Zverev said in his on-court interview. “Obviously it was a fantastic match. I thought Andy played extremely well, maybe as well as he’s played since the surgery. I hope he continues playing the same way, because tennis did miss him for a long time and I think it’s good to have him back.”

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Three-time major winner Murray played good tennis to back up his impressive second-round performance against #NextGenATP star Carlos Alcaraz. The Scot also had the full support of the Stadium 1 crowd, which roared for nearly every point he won.

But Zverev was simply too good. Despite patches of uncharacteristic play — including several mistakes at the net, especially with his overhead — the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion played his best tennis in critical moments to advance after two hours and eight minutes.

“I always stayed in the match, even though I was down a break in both sets. I always knew I had a chance. Especially the second set I think was an extremely high level from both of us. It could have gone both ways.”

Murray sprinted to the lead early in both sets, bringing energy to the court and taking advantage of openings given to him. But as both sets wore on, Zverev cut down on his mistakes and clawed through baseline rallies.

Despite failing to serve out the match at 6-5 in the second set, Zverev did not panic. He took advantage of a sloppy drop shot from Murray to start the tie-break and never looked back.

Zverev has now won 19 of his past 20 matches, including runs to the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and the Western & Southern Open title in Cincinnati.

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