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A First For Alcaraz At Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 12, 2022

A First For Alcaraz At Indian Wells

#NextGenATP Spaniard claims his maiden victory in the California desert

Carlos Alcaraz earned his first win at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday. It is safe to say there will be plenty more for the #NextGenATP sensation in the years to come at Indian Wells.

The 19th seed defeated home favourite Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-3 to reach the second round in the California desert, where he will next play countryman Roberto Bautista Agut. New World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev is looming in their section.

Alcaraz thrilled a packed Stadium 3 with his powerful baseline play against a motivated McDonald, who grew up in California and attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The American battled hard, but Alcaraz, who was competing as a Top 20 player in tournament action for the first time, had just a bit more firepower in his one-hour, 35-minute victory.

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The 18-year-old converted five of his nine break points and rallied from a break down in the second set. McDonald had one slip of concentration when he contested a not-up call, which allowed Alcaraz to take advantage and sprint through the finish line.

The reigning Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion has won seven consecutive matches (9-1 on the year), including a run to the biggest title of his young career at the Rio Open presented by Claro, an ATP 500 played on clay. In Brazil, the Spaniard defeated three players who have reached the Top 10: Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini and Diego Schwartzman.

Bautista Agut had a much tougher time on Saturday, when he saved two match points en route to a 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(5) triumph against American J.J Wolf.

Wolf served for the match at 5-4 in the third set. On his first match point, he hit a double fault. Later in the game, he let slip another opportunity by missing an aggressive forehand wide. Bautista Agut clawed through after three hours and 18 minutes.

Did You Know?
On his BNP Paribas Open debut last year, Alcaraz lost a tight three-setter against former World No. 1 Andy Murray.

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Medvedev Earns First Win As World No. 1

  • Posted: Mar 12, 2022

Medvedev Earns First Win As World No. 1

Top seed awaits winner of Monfils vs. Krajinovic

Daniil Medvedev is 1-0 as World No. 1. After taking over the top spot in the ATP Rankings on 28 February, the 26-year-old lived up to the billing with a dominant start at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.

Facing qualifier Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic, Medvedev advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 6-2 victory on Stadium 1 in Indian Wells. After saving a break point in the first game of the match, he settled in for a dominant victory over a 21-year-old opponent who was seeking his first Top 10 win.

“I think I was pretty consistent,” Medvedev said of his performance. “If you look at the first set, it was pretty even. He made a few unforced errors and maybe some bad decisions in the crucial moments. That’s how tennis is sometimes.

“The scoreline might be pretty effective, 6-3, 6-2, but if you look at the points and the games, it was not as easy as it seems. So I’m happy that I managed to pull through and be the most consistent player.”

Once he navigated that tricky opening game, Medvedev dropped just eight points on serve in the rest of the one-hour, 11-minute match.

Watch highlights from Saturday’s action at Indian Wells:

From 2-2 in the opening set, Medvedev locked in and began to turn the screws with his baseline game, controlling the rallies and giving Machac very few errors. After taking four of the last five games in the first set, he scored an instant break in the second to drive home the advantage.

He never looked back as he sealed a stress-free victory to kickstart his desert campaign. Medvedev’s best Indian Wells result came in October when he reached the Round of 16 before losing a three-setter to Grigor Dimitrov.

“It’s always strange here, the conditions,” Medvedev said. “You need a lot of time to get used to the conditions, and at the same time it’s a great place to be, so everybody comes one week, one week and a half before the tournament because of both reasons. That’s what I’ve done also and I feel great, so hopefully I can do better than the previous times.”

The top seed will face 26th seed Gael Monfils or Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic in in the third round on Monday.

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Nadal Withdraws From Miami

  • Posted: Mar 12, 2022

Nadal Withdraws From Miami

Legendary lefty off to a perfect 15-0 start in 2022

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Miami Open presented by Itau, to take place at Hard Rock Stadium from 23 March through 3 April.

“Rafa will certainly be missed. He has so many fans here in South Florida, and we hope to see him back in Miami next year,” said Tournament Director James Blake. “We are fortunate to have an incredibly deep and talented player field and look forward to showcasing the new elements of the site and all the off-court activities our fans have come to love about this iconic event.”

Nadal owns a 40-12 record at the Miami tournament.

The legendary lefty is off to a personal-best 15-0 start to the 2022 season. Nadal begins his BNP Paribas Open run on Saturday against Sebastian Korda.

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Indian Wells Day 3 Preview: Medvedev Debuts As No. 1; Nadal Takes On Korda

  • Posted: Mar 12, 2022

Indian Wells Day 3 Preview: Medvedev Debuts As No. 1; Nadal Takes On Korda

Tsitsipas, Alcaraz and defending champion Norrie also in action

Daniil Medvedev will take to the court for the first time since reaching the top of the ATP Rankings on Saturday as he seeks a strong start against Czech qualifier Tomas Machac at the BNP Paribas Open.

The 2021 US Open champion was able to reflect on his hard-earned status as World No. 1 this week in Indian Wells, as he received a trophy recognising the achievement.

He shared the iconic moment with coach Gilles Cervara, agent Olivier van Lindonk, fitness trainer Eric Hernandez and his wife, Daria. Despite the celebrations, Medvedev has no intention of taking his foot of the gas.

“I think it [being No. 1] is a lot of pressure, but at the same time a lot of motivation,” he said at his pre-tournament press conference. “I’m going to try to do my best. It’s the same every tournament you play, try to gain as many points as possible.

The second-round clash on Stadium 1 will be the first ATP Head2Head meeting between Medvedev and Machac. The 20-year-old Czech has already shown he can also handle big pressure this week in California, saving 13 of 14 break points he faced on his way past Alexei Popyrin in the first round.

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A man who has beaten Medvedev twice in 2022, Rafael Nadal, faces a tough opening test against #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda. The pair has already practiced together this week in Indian Wells and Korda will hope that experience enables him to have more success than in the pair’s sole previous tour-level meeting. Nadal lost just four games in their 2020 Roland Garros clash.

World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas is seeking a first hard-court ATP Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells but starts his campaign against a player with real pedigree at the event in Jack Sock. Former Top 10 star Sock reached the semi-finals in 2017 and has also won two doubles titles in the California desert.


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Having won his first ATP 500 title at the Rio Open presented by Claro in February, Carlos Alcaraz will try and transport that success to Masters 1000 level as he faces American Mackenzie McDonald on Stadium 3.

The Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion will seek a fast start but believes the physical improvements he has made mean he is prepared in case his matches go long in Indian Wells.

“My team and I know how important it is to be strong physically,” Alcaraz said in his pre-tournament interview. “It was one thing we knew I had to improve a lot. It was a great focus during preseason. I am really happy. It gives me more confidence. I have more of a chance to keep my level high during a three or four-hour match against the best players.”

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Defending champion Cameron Norrie faces Pedro Martinez on Stadium 5. Norrie charged to a first ATP Masters 1000 title at the 2021 event but will face stiff competition from the Spaniard, who picked up his first tour-level title in Santiago in February.

Another strong run in Indian Wells would boost Norrie’s chances of breaking the Top 10 for the first time, but as his coach Facundo Lugones told this week, success will not change the Brit’s calm demeanour.

“Even if he gets into the Top 10, he will still be just as down to earth,” said Lugones. “He will continue to have the same friends and treat everyone the same. I think that even if he were No. 1 in the world, he would still be the same humble person.”

Wild card Nick Kyrgios continues his campaign against Federico Delbonis on Stadium 2. The Australian impressed in his first-round victory over Sebastian Baez and afterwards spoke about the positive vibes he is enjoying as he returns to the tour for the first time since the Australian Open.

“I’m just comfortable in my own skin,” said the Australian wild card after his 6-4, 6-0 win over Baez. “Mentally I feel the best I’ve probably ever felt, to be honest.”

Other top players kicking off their campaign on Saturday include thirteenth seed Denis Shapovalov, who takes on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, while Reilly Opelka faces #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti and World No. 8 Casper Ruud takes on qualifier Christopher Eubanks.


STADIUM 1 start 11:00 pm
ATP – [1] Daniil Medvedev vs [Q] Tomas Machac (CZE)
ATP – [4] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs Sebastian Korda (USA)

Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – [5] Paula Badosa (ESP) vs Tereza Martincova

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – [WC] Jack Sock (USA) vs [5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)

Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – Naomi Osaka (JPN) vs [21] Veronika Kudermetova

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – Jasmine Paolini (ITA) vs [2] Aryna Sabalenka
WTA – [6] Maria Sakkari (GRE) vs Katerina Siniakova (CZE)
ATP – Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) vs [13] Denis Shapovalov (CAN)

Not Before 6:00 pm
WTA – [18] Leylah Fernandez (CAN) vs Amanda Anisimova (USA)
ATP – [32] Federico Delbonis (ARG) vs [WC] Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
ATP – [19] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs Mackenzie McDonald (USA)
ATP – [17] Reilly Opelka (USA) vs Lorenzo Musetti (ITA)
ATP – [Q] Christopher Eubanks vs [8] Casper Ruud (NOR)

Not Before 5:00 PM
WTA – [13] Victoria Azarenka vs [LL] Astra Sharma (AUS)
WTA – [14] Jessica Pegula (USA) vs [Q] Marie Bouzkova (CZE)

STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs [27] Petra Kvitova (CZE)
WTA – Kristina Kucova (SVK) vs [4] Anett Kontaveit (EST)
WTA – Shelby Rogers (USA) vs [10] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [10] Jannik Sinner (ITA) vs Laslo Djere (SRB)
ATP – [25] Karen Khachanov vs Jenson Brooksby (USA)

STADIUM 5 start 11:00 am
ATP – Federico Coria (ARG) vs [27] Daniel Evans (GBR)
ATP – H. Hurkacz (POL)/L. Kubot (POL) vs [6] T. Puetz (GER)/M. Venus (NZL)
ATP – [12] Cameron Norrie (GBR) vs Pedro Martinez (ESP)
ATP – Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) vs [21] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)

STADIUM 6 start 11:00 am
ATP – [Q] J.J. Wolf (USA) vs [15] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
ATP – Filip Krajinovic (SRB) vs [26] Gael Monfils (FRA)
ATP – Fabio Fognini (ITA) vs [18] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO)
ATP – C. Alcaraz (ESP)/P. Carreno Busta vs T. Fritz (USA)/T. Paul (USA)

STADIUM 7 start 11:00 am
ATP – N. Mahut (FRA)/F. Martin (FRA) vs [3] M. Granollers (ESP)/Horacio Zeballos (ARG)
ATP – M. Arevalo (ESA)/ J. Rojer (NED) vs [5] J. Peers (AUS)/F. Polasek (SVK)
ATP – A. Molteni (ARG)/D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs T. Brkic (BIH)/N. Cacic (CRO)

STADIUM 8 start 11:00 am
WTA – [30] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) vs [LL] Magdalena Frech (POL)
WTA – [31] Viktorija Golubic (SUI) vs Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)
WTA – [Q] Kaja Juvan (SLV) vs [32] Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP)
WTA – Y. Xu (CHN)/Z. Yang (CHN) vs H. Chan (TPE)/M. Linette (POL)

STADIUM 9 start 11:00 am
WTA – [20] Elise Mertens (BEL) vs Marta Kostyuk (UKR)
WTA – Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs [17] Elena Rybakina (KAZ)
WTA – [Q] Daria Saville (AUS) vs [9] Ons Jabeur (TUN)
WTA – [DA] K. Flipkens (BEL)/S. Mirza (IND) vs [5] G. Dabrowski (CAN)/G. Olmos (MEX)

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Lugones On Norrie: 'He Would Stay Humble Even If He Were World No. 1'

  • Posted: Mar 12, 2022

Lugones On Norrie: ‘He Would Stay Humble Even If He Were World No. 1’

Argentine coach talks to as his charge bids to break into the Top 10

If winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the 2021 BNP Paribas Open represented a big milestone for Cameron Norrie, this year’s trip to Indian Wells could prove to be another career highlight.

As well as coming in as the defending champion, another strong run in the Californian desert could see the 26-year-old lefty enter the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time.

The Brit has had to work hard in recent weeks to get himself in this position, recovering from his worst start to a season. Norrie won one set in his first four matches in 2022, but since then the World No. 12 has stepped up his game.

“All the credit goes to Cam, who didn’t panic after we had such a hard time in Australia,” Norrie’s coach Facundo Lugones told “From there we had time to regroup, and we trained very hard for 20 days, with a fitness coach and everything.

“In Rotterdam he picked up some confidence by winning some good matches. There he started to play well again, and in Delray Beach and Acapulco he showed that.”

After reaching the quarter-finals at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament (l. to eventual winner Auger-Aliassime), Norrie won the Delray Beach Open by (d. Opelka) and was a finalist at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC (l. to Nadal) to take his match record in 2022 to 10-6. His rapid recovery has brought him to within 190 points of World No. 10 Jannik Sinner.


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Norrie himself is not getting carried away. “It would be really amazing to be in the Top 10,” said the Brit. “It’s one of my goals this year. But for now, I just want to take it match by match and keep concentrating on my game.”

Lugones, whose work with Norrie earned him the 2021 ATP Coach of the Year award, believes his charge has what it takes to become one of the best in the world.

“Even though the Top 10 is one of his goals, I also think he is aiming higher and he’s working very hard to achieve it,” said the Argentine, who is just three years Norrie’s senior. “Even so, I don’t think he’s under pressure. When Cam was younger, he did feel a lot of pressure to get into the Top 100, but now he’s more mature and he’s more focused.”

Norrie could have reached the Top 10 by winning the title in Acapulco but losing the final to Rafael Nadal has done nothing to dampen his spirit and the Brit is focused on the positives from another strong week.

“It was great to beat an opponent like Stefanos [Tsitsipas] in the semi-finals,” said Norrie. “I definitely need to win matches like that to reach the Top 10, against the best and in the big rounds.”

Nadal also believes Norrie remains on track for further success. “Cameron is one of the most in-form players on tour”, said the Spaniard after securing the title in Acapulco. “His game is very difficult to play against. He has the virtue of making you feel that you can’t play comfortably.

“He makes you make difficult decisions, makes you think a lot on court. At the moment he’s one of the best in the world. He has had incredible potential for a year and half.”

The stats back up Nadal’s thoughts. At the start of 2021 Norrie was outside the Top 70 and still looking for his first ATP Tour title. He has now lifted three tour-level trophies and is a Masters 1000 champion. What did he do to improve so much, so quickly?

“He is increasingly professional and more relaxed,” says Lugones. “There is no desperation. Also, he likes to learn from the best, and he’s been watching a lot of tennis for two years. He’s a huge fan.

“He loves analysing his opponents, seeing what they do, how they defend. But he doesn’t only watch tennis on television. When we went to the Laver Cup last year, we saw what the other players were doing. We watched [Daniil] Medvedev a lot to see how he worked and competed. We really focused a lot on his return and how deep it was. The idea is to keep improving and learning.”

Analysing one of the best returners on Tour helped Norrie work on the part of his game that was in most need of a polish. “Cameron is now returning very well, he really likes doing it,” said Lugones. “It’s the thing we’ve worked the most on in the last year. We work on it by talking about it a lot and by me serving to him two million times a day!”

Norrie’s game may have evolved during his meteoric rise but personality-wise he has not changed. “He keeps a low profile,” says Lugones, who met Norrie at Texas Christian University. “He’s very relaxed, warm, a good friend, respectful, and he looks after his team.”

The Argentine is confident Norrie’s manner will stay the same, even if more success comes his way. “Even if he gets into the Top 10, he will still be just as down to earth,” said Lugones. “He will continue to have the same friends and treat everyone the same. I think that even if he were No. 1 in the world, he would still be the same humble person.”

Did You Know…?
Of the 176 players to have broken into the Top 10 since the ATP Rankings began in 1973, Norrie is bidding to become just the fourth Briton to achieve the feat after Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski.

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Is Hawkeye Broken? No, It's Just The 'Cressy Crescent'

  • Posted: Mar 12, 2022

Is Hawkeye Broken? No, It’s Just The ‘Cressy Crescent’

Social media was buzzing after the American’s 26-mph ace

Maxime Cressy hit 15 aces in a three-set loss to compatriot Christopher Eubanks on Thursday. One of those aces never hit his strings.

With windy conditions wreaking havoc at the BNP Paribas Open, Cressy’s ball toss hung up in the air for a fraction longer than the American expected, leading to a framed serve off the top of his racquet.

But from there, the wind — and the wicked spin created off the frame — worked in his favour as he delivered a once-in-a-lifetime ace at just 26 mph. Like a feather in the wind, the ball floated just over the net, then bounced backwards and sideways to leave Eubanks no chance.

“Whatever this is needs to be given a name and added to the lexicon of tennis,” said Twitter user @film_zoe, commenting on a TennisTV tweet which is now approaching half a million views.

We may have a moniker, thanks to @Tquick101, who offered “Cressy Crescent.”

Other Twitter users shared videos of similar happy accidents on serve, though none could quite match the perfect placement and tremendous spin of Cressy’s offering.

There was also a debate over whether the American did indeed serve the slowest ace in tennis history, with some suggesting an underhand ace might beat it out in the slow-motion “race.”

The serve drew a smile from Cressy, who was leading, 7-5, 3-4 at the time. But Eubanks got the last laugh, saving three match points in a second-set tie-break on the way to a 5-7, 7-6(8), 6-4 victory in the opening round. The qualifier will face eighth seed Casper Ruud on Saturday.

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Rune Sets 'Huge Test' Against Berrettini At Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 12, 2022

Rune Sets ‘Huge Test’ Against Berrettini At Indian Wells

Danish teen earns his first ATP Masters 1000 victory

The accomplishments are adding up for Holger Rune.

The Danish #NextGenATP star earned his first ATP Masters 1000 main draw win on Friday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory in 61 minutes against Frenchman Ugo Humbert to reach the second round of the BNP Paribas Open. The 18-year-old qualified in the California desert, where he has now won three matches since arriving.

“It feels amazing. It was a great match. Ugo is a difficult opponent. He can play some unbelievable tennis. He beat Medvedev this year, the best player in the world, so he definitely has a level that is good,” Rune said. “But I also know he lost a lot of matches, so he’s maybe not the [most] confident and I think I used that in my favour to play aggressive, to really keep him playing every shot and every ball.

“I did that well from the beginning, starting out strong. [It was a] great crowd out there, so I’m super happy with the first victory.”

Rune, who did not face a break point against Humbert, will now face an even bigger challenge against sixth seed Matteo Berrettini. The Dane lost his only previous match against a Top 10 opponent in four sets in the first round of last year’s US Open against Novak Djokovic.

“Next match is a huge test against Berrettini, so it’s going to be fun to see how it’s going to go,” Rune said. “For sure he’s a great player, one of the best in the world right now, so it’s going to be fun. Let’s see what happens.”

In the same section of the draw, Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic clawed past Briton Liam Broady 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 after two hours and 14 minutes. The 22-year-old has now won at least one match at all six tournaments he has played this season. Kecmanovic will next face 24th seed Marin Cilic.


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