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Vintage Monfils Upsets Medvedev, Who Will Fall From No. 1

  • Posted: Mar 14, 2022

Vintage Monfils Upsets Medvedev, Who Will Fall From No. 1

Frenchman earns second career win over a current World No. 1

Gael Monfils recaptured the form that saw him reach the Australian Open quarter-finals to knock out World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev on Monday in Indian Wells. With the loss, Medvedev will hand back the top spot in the ATP Rankings to Novak Djokovic on Monday.


The 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory puts the Frenchman into the Round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open, where he will face the red-hot Carlos Alcaraz.


After competing just once in February, the 26th seed got his first win since Melbourne against Filip Krajinovic on Saturday. He built on that with a scintillating performance in Stadium 1, his explosive and care-free tennis enthralling the early afternoon crowd in the desert.


After a sloppy end to the first set, Monfils found a new gear for the rest of the two-hour, four-minute match. He used two screaming break-point winners to gain control of the second set, re-establishing his break advantage with a forehand rope that sent the crowd into a frenzy as Monfils basked in the support.


Monfils charged to a 4-0 lead in the final set, twice battling through deuce to break. On his sixth match point, the Frenchman fittingly ended the match in style with a backhand winner.


It’s a second career victory over a current World No. 1 for Monfils, his first coming against Rafael Nadal in 2009 in Doha.

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Day 5 Preview: Tsitsipas Meets Brooksby; Medvedev & Nadal Continue Title Bid

  • Posted: Mar 14, 2022

Day 5 Preview: Tsitsipas Meets Brooksby; Medvedev & Nadal Continue Title Bid

#NextGenATP stars Alcaraz and Sinner in action

Stefanos Tsitsipas will face a major test on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open as he continues the quest for his first trophy of the season in Indian Wells.

As third-round matches go, they don’t get much tougher, with the World No. 5 facing dynamic American Jenson Brooksby for the first time in a popcorn encounter on Stadium 1.

Brooksby has enjoyed a standout 12 months, soaring from outside the Top 250 in the ATP Rankings to a current career-high No. 43. In that time, the 21-year-old has reached tour-level finals in Newport and Dallas, advanced to the fourth round at the US Open and qualified for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, where injury prevented him from competing.

In his second appearance in Indian Wells, Brooksby has defeated Roberto Carballes Baena and Karen Khachanov for the loss of just eight games. Tsitsipas meanwhile survived a major scare in his opening match, edging wild card Jack Sock 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(5).

”It was a crazy battle; we both left everything out there,” Tsitsipas said after his win over the American. “Jack played incredibly well at times but I was able to bring out the best in my game at the end. I proved I could play aggressive tennis and stay calm at the same time.”

The Greek, who reached the quarter-finals at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden last season, is bidding to win his second Masters 1000 crown, after lifting the trophy at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in 2021.

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Spaniard Rafael Nadal will aim to extend his best start to an ATP Tour season when he faces Daniel Evans.

The 35-year-old has been red hot this year, winning three tour-level titles, including a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open. However, he was made to work hard in his opening match in Indian Wells, rallying from 2-5 in the third set against American Sebastian Korda to keep his perfect 2022 record intact.

“The reason why I have been fighting during all my tennis career or I have the right self-control or I have the right attitude or fighting spirit during my career is simple,” Nadal said following his hard-fought win over Korda “Because I grew with this kind of education.”

“My uncle, my family, never allowed me to break a racquet, never allowed me to say bad words or throw or give up a match. Probably when I was a kid, they didn’t care much about winning or losing.”

Nadal heads into his match against Evans on Stadium 1 holding a 16-0 record on the year and a 2-0 ATP Head2Head series lead over the World No. 29. This will be their first meeting since 2019 though. By reaching the third round, Briton Evans has matched his best run at the ATP Masters 1000 event, having also advanced to that stage last season.


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Daniil Medvedev will begin the action on Stadium 1 against Frenchman Gael Monfils in what should be an entertaining clash.

In his first match as the new World No. 1, the 26-year-old swept aside Czech qualifier Tomas Machac 6-3, 6-2 as he began his hunt for a fifth Masters 1000 title. Medvedev’s best performance in Indian Wells came in 2021, when he advanced to the fourth round, before he lost to eventual semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov.

“It’s always strange here, the conditions,” Medvedev said after his opening-round victory. “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.”

Monfils will provide a tricky test for Medvedev, with the pair locked at 1-1 in their ATP Head2Head series. The 26th seed captured his 11th tour-level title when he triumphed in Adelaide in January and cruised past Serbian Filip Krajinovic to set a meeting with the top seed.

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#NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz will play countryman Roberto Bautista Agut as he aims to maintain his strong start to the year. Alcaraz, who beat Mackenzie McDonald to claim his first win in Indian Wells, is 9-1 on the season, having become the youngest ATP 500 champion when he clinched the title in Rio de Janeiro last month. It will be the first time the 18-year-old has faced Bautista Agut when they meet on Stadium 3.

Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios will look to build on his comfortable victories over Argentine duo Sebastian Baez and Federico Delbonis when he takes on eighth seed Casper Ruud. Kyrgios is competing in Indian Wells for the first time since 2019, with his best result a run to the quarter-finals in 2017.

Ruud, who lifted his seventh tour-level title in Buenos Aires in February, leads Kyrgios 1-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.

In a packed schedule, #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner carries a 1-0 ATP Head2Head lead into his clash against Benjamin Bonzi, while in a rematch of the 2021 Indian Wells final, reigning champion Cameron Norrie takes on 18th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Big-serving American Reilly Opelka faces Denis Shapovalov, with the Canadian having won their only previous tour-level match at the Australian Open earlier this year. Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury headline the doubles action, with the second seeds playing Argentines Andres Molteni and Diego Schwartzman.


STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – [1] D. Medvedev vs [26] G. Monfils (FRA)
ATP – [4] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [27] D. Evans (GBR)

Not Before 3:00 PM
WTA – [13] V. Azarenka vs [17] E. Rybakina (KAZ)

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – J. Brooksby (USA) vs [5] S. Tsitsipas (GRE)

Not Before 8:00 PM
WTA – [18] L. Fernandez (CAN) vs S. Rogers (USA)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [6] M. Sakkari (GRE) vs [27] P. Kvitova (CZE)
WTA – [30] M. Vondrousova (CZE) vs [4] A. Kontaveit
ATP – [17] R. Opelka (USA) vs [13] D. Shapovalov (CAN)

Not Before 6:00 PM
WTA – [5] P. Badosa (ESP) vs [32] S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP)
ATP – [WC] N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [8] C. Ruud (NOR)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
ATP – [19] C. Alcaraz (ESP) vs [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
WTA – [Q] M. Bouzkova (CZE) vs [21] V. Kudermetova
WTA – [31] V. Golubic (SUI) vs J. Paolini (ITA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [10] J. Sinner (ITA) vs B. Bonzi (FRA)
ATP – [12] C. Norrie (GBR) vs [18] N. Basilashvili (GEO)

STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – [20] E. Mertens (BEL) vs [Q] D. Saville (AUS)
WTA – [WC] S. Kenin (USA) / A. Riske (USA) vs [7] A. Muhammad (USA) / E. Shibahara (JPN)

Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [4] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs T. Fritz (USA) / T. Paul (USA)
WTA – [3] C. Gauff (USA) / C. McNally (USA) vs [OSE] M. Sakkari (GRE) / A. Tomljanovic (AUS)

STADIUM 6 start 12:00 noon
ATP – A. Karatsev / A. Rublev vs [3] M. Granollers (ESP) / H. Zeballos (ARG)

Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – A. Golubev (KAZ) / A. Zverev (GER) vs M. Arevalo (ESA) / J. Rojer (NED)
ATP – A. Molteni (ARG) / D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs [2] R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR)

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Murray: Lendl Return ‘Means A Lot To Me’

  • Posted: Mar 14, 2022

Murray: Lendl Return ‘Means A Lot To Me’

Brit reunites for third spell with ATP legend

After undergoing two career-threatening hip surgeries, Andy Murray had a lot of time to reflect on how much more tennis he’ll be able to play at the elite level. He’s 34 years old now and a father of four.

“Obviously, as you start to get close to the end of your career you look at certain milestones and things you could potentially achieve,” Murray told ATP Media recently. “Obviously the last few years have been tricky for me.”

And so, Murray has turned to the partnership that helped create his best on-court moments; he’s bringing back eight-time Grand Slam singles champion Ivan Lendl for a third tour of duty as coach.

“I’ve had some good results over the last couple of years, but the consistency of them has been poor,” Murray said. “I think that’s because the level of the tennis that I’ve been playing is not that high. I trust a lot of what Ivan says. We obviously had excellent results together in the past.”

In their first year together, Murray won his first major, the 2012 US Open. It probably wasn’t a coincidence that Murray became only the second player in the Open era to win his first Grand Slam title after going 0-4 in previous finals. Lendl, of course, was the first.

Murray followed that up with a victory at Wimbledon in 2013 to become the first British man to win the singles title there since Fred Perry in 1936. The two later split, but rejoined forces in 2016, another banner year for Murray. He won his second Wimbledon title, rose to No. 1 in the world, took home a second Olympic gold medal and won the Nitto ATP Finals with a victory over Novak Djokovic in the final.

His 700th match win already secured, Murray is ranked No. 88, but by bringing Lendl back clearly has higher aspirations. After his BNP Paribas Open defeat to Alexander Bublik, Murray now heads to the Miami Open presented by Itau, a tournament he has won twice. Murray plans to spend a few weeks in Orlando, working with Lendl, who is based in nearby Vero Beach. After a few tournaments in Europe, there is another scheduled training block in Florida, followed by Wimbledon. Murray said he isn’t sure how long this third partnership will last.

“But, certainly, in the short term, we’ll spend a lot of time together,” he said. “It means a lot to me that he’s still willing to help me and believes that I can achieve great results. And I trust him in that, too.

“I still feel like it’s possible, but I think that if he didn’t believe that I don’t think that he’d work with me and he’d tell me. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to it and I hope there are better results ahead.”

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Fritz: My Game ‘In A Pretty Good Place’ After Opening Win

  • Posted: Mar 14, 2022

Fritz: My Game ‘In A Pretty Good Place’ After Opening Win

World No. 20 enjoyed semi-final run in Indian Wells in 2021

In the wake of Sunday’s second-round victory over Kamil Majchrzak at the BNP Paribas Open, Taylor Fritz did not sound like a man who dropped all of two games in a scant 57 minutes.

“First match, a little bit of nerves, obviously, so it was good to kind of get through it safely,” the 24-year-old American told reporters afterward. “Some things I would like to work on tomorrow, do a bit better, but all in all like in a pretty good place with my game after that match.”

A year ago, regardless of the tournament, Fritz was just looking to win a match or two. Now, seeded No. 20 at Indian Wells and armed with the same ranking number among ATP Tour players, Fritz expects to go deep into draws. This confidence comes directly from the results he’s produced over the past six months, going back to – by a quirk of scheduling – the 2021 version of Indian Wells.


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Fritz, it seems, was born to succeed in the California desert. He was born and raised in nearby Rancho Santa Fe and spent many pleasant days wandering among the matches in this lovely tennis garden. Last fall, he reached the semi-finals of his first ATP Masters 1000, the first of his career. To do it, he had to beat two Top-10 players, Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev, saving two match points against the German.

Two weeks later, Fritz was a finalist in St. Petersburg and a quarter-finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris, falling there 4-6, 3-6 to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. He reached the round of 16 at this year’s Australian Open, a career best, extending Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in a match that went nearly three hours and a half.

“For sure, I think just my level as a player has gone up,” Fritz said. “I think I’ve gone up several levels. I think I’m a way better player than I was when I was here last year, and I think I’ve improved a lot.

“So, yeah, I expect a lot more of myself. My goal is to move into the Top 10. So I definitely have a lot higher expectations.”

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And the world will be watching. Fritz is one of the ATP players the Netflix crew has been shadowing in its upcoming tennis docuseries. One of his goals, he said, is to make tennis a “cooler” sport, one that will appear more often on ESPN’s iconic SportsCenter.

Fritz, who now faces Jaume Munar in the third round after the qualifier shocked No. 16 seed Pablo Carreno Busta, just needs to produce more results like the one over Majchrzak.

“Sounds very nit-picky because obviously the match, it was 6-1, 6-1 today, but I think there were some things I could have done a bit better,” he said. “So, tighten up some things tomorrow in practice but, yeah, confidence-wise, it’s great to start out with a match like this.”

Fritz finished the 2021 season as the No. 1-ranked American man. Two other former No. 1 Americans also won matches Sunday. No. 23 John Isner evened his career head-to-head with Sam Querrey at five-all with a 7-6(6), 7-6(3) second-round victory. Steve Johnson upset No. 22 seed Aslan Karatsev 7-6(5), 6-4.

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Paul Shocks Zverev For Biggest Win Of Career

  • Posted: Mar 14, 2022

Paul Shocks Zverev For Biggest Win Of Career

American reaches third round in Indian Wells for second time

Something in the Indian Wells air seems to inspire Tommy Paul.

The American produced a top-class performance to defeat World No. 3 Alexander Zverev 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2) in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, upping his level in the deciding-set tie-break to complete the biggest win of his career.

“I like playing here,” said Paul after the match. “I like the conditions. The fans really support [the American players] here, and that’s why we all love it. It feels like a real home tournament.”

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Paul reached the fourth round in California in 2021, beating then-World No. 5 Andrey Rublev on the way to his best run at an ATP Masters 1000 event, and he continues to look comfortable on the big stage at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

It’s also not the first time Paul has impressed against the top players on Tour. It was his fourth win over a Top 10 opponent, a tally that includes a straight-sets win in his only previous meeting with Zverev in Acapulco in 2020. The American hopes to reproduce such victories more regularly as he looks to push further up the ATP Rankings.

“I would hope that I can be in the Top 10,” said Paul. “That’s what it takes, you’ve got to beat more Top 10 players and I played well today, so I’m happy.”


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The 2021 Stockholm champion came racing out the blocks on Stadium 1, surging to the first set after breaking twice as his opponent struggled to settle.

The match looked to be going only one way as Zverev found himself 15/40 down in the fifth game of the second set, but the German’s biggest weapon inspired a mid-match comeback. He won 24 consecutive points on serve as he fended off those break points, took the second set and surged to a 4-2 lead in the decider.

That weapon soon became Zverev’s downfall, however. Having established a 4-2 lead in the third set, a pair of double faults gifted his opponent the break back. An absorbing encounter fittingly ended with a deciding tie-break, but it was Paul who elevated his game to roar to a 6/1 lead, sealing victory with his second match point to the delight of a raucous home crowd.

According to Infosys ATP Stats, Paul’s efficiency coming forward was key to his win. The American won 71 per cent (29/41) of points at the net, completing the win in two hours, 17 minutes.

“I never felt out of the match,” said Paul. “My gameplan in the tie-break was to play more aggressive than I did the whole match, and see if he comes up with the goods. When I come to the net, see if he comes up with big passing shots, and if he did that, then too good. That was my process.”

Paul’s third-round opponent will be Alex de Minaur, after the 29th seed came out on top in an all-Australian battle with John Millman.

De Minaur reached the fourth round in Indian Wells for the first time in 2021, and the 23-year-old gave himself a chance of matching that run with a solid display against his countryman. He broke Millman three times on his way to a 7-6(4), 6-3 win.

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Berrettini Dodges Rune's Upset Bid At Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 14, 2022

Berrettini Dodges Rune’s Upset Bid At Indian Wells

Italian will next play 30th seed Harris

Matteo Berrettini has already created a slew of Italian firsts in tennis.

Back in January, when he reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open, he became the first player from Italy ever to make the quarter-finals in each of the four majors. A year ago, he was also the first Italian man to appear in the Wimbledon final.

One code Berrettini has been unable to crack? The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, where he has yet to advance past the third round. Believe it or not, before Sunday he had managed only a single victory (over Alejandro Tabilo) in three previous appearances here. Based on his 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 second-round win over committed qualifier Holger Rune, this might be the year he checks that box.

And when it was over, after a pair of unreturnable serves finally delivered him, Berrettini tapped his racquet appreciatively and scanned the four sides of the arena. And then he let out a deep sigh.

“It was definitely a tough match – I expected it,” Berrettini said in his on-court interview. “He’s improving every time I see him. He’s going to have a bright future.

“Today I think I was able to manage the strokes. I’m really happy, because I wasn’t feeling that comfortable in the court.”

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On Tuesday, the No. 6-ranked Berrettini will face South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 winner over Facundo Bagnis.

The #NextGenATP Rune, still only 18, collected his first ATP Masters 1000 main draw victory in the first round over Ugo Humbert. The Dane, uncommonly agile and athletic even among professionals, is ranked a career-high No. 86 and is a former World No. 1 junior. A year ago, as a 17-year-old qualifier in Santiago, he became the first ATP Tour player born in 2003 to reach a quarter-final. He even took a second-set tie-break from World No. 1 Novak Djokovic after qualifying at last year’s US Open, his first major.

In the third set, Berrettini’s formidable forehand and serve began to open up some distance. With Rune serving at 1-all, he double-faulted to give Berrettini a break point. The Italian ripped a low, tight forehand and a charging Rune sent a backhand volley into the net. Perhaps sensing that lost moment as pivotal, Rune whacked the top of the net with his racquet on the way to his changeover chair.

That break held up the rest of the way in a match that saw Berrettini hit 27 winners – 14 of them aces and 12 from the forehand side.

“I like the courts, the atmosphere, it’s very nice,” said Berrettini when asked about his less-than-stellar record at Indian Wells. “For one reason or another, I got here half-injured or something always happened.

“I’m pretty old for tennis [25], but I didn’t play this tournament too many times. It takes time and sometimes a little bit of luck. Hopefully, this is going to be the good one.”

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