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Berrettini Powers Past Harris To Reach Fourth Round

  • Posted: Mar 15, 2022

Berrettini Powers Past Harris To Reach Fourth Round

Italian next plays Kecmanovic

Sixth seed Matteo Berrettini survived a mid-match dip to reach the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time Tuesday, moving past Lloyd Harris 6-4, 7-5 in Indian Wells.

The Italian, who is making his fourth appearance in the California desert, showed his fighting spirit against Harris in a heavy-hitting display on Stadium 2.

Berrettini rallied from 2-5 in the second set and saved three set points, including one on the South African’s serve, before he raised his intensity and power to advance after one hour and 32 minutes.

“It means a lot [to reach the fourth round],” Berrettini said in his on-court interview. “I like the conditions but for some reason, I have never been able to play my best tennis here. I am happy with my performance, Lloyd is a tough opponent. It feels really nice to reach the fourth round for the first time. Every year I am improving.”


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The 25-year-old reeled off five straight games to seal his victory, improving to 2-0 against Harris in their ATP Head2Head series. Berrettini will next face Miomir Kecmanovic after the World No. 61 defeated Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 7-6(3), 7-5.

“I got a little bit nervous,” Berrettini added. “I didn’t like how I handled the start of the second set. I let the anger out a little bit, which helped. I found the right balance in order to break him in the important moment and I then had the momentum.”

Berrettini has captured five tour-level titles, but has yet to crack the code at an ATP Masters 1000 event, with his best performance at this level coming in Madrid in 2021, when he enjoyed a run to the championship match.

The World No. 6, who advanced to the semi-finals at the Australian Open in January, edged #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune in three sets in his first match in Indian Wells and is competing in his fifth tour-level tournament of the season.

In a tight first set, Berrettini looked to step inside the baseline and outmanouevre Harris with his brutal groundstrokes. The Italian showcased good footwork to control play on his forehand and gained the crucial break at 4-4, before he sealed the set with his seventh ace of the opener.

However, Harris responded in the second set, earning an early break in the fourth game as he hit with greater depth and consistency to cause Berrettini problems. But from 5-2 ahead, he failed to serve out the set, with Berrettini winning five games in a row to claim his win.

Harris was attempting to reach the fourth round at a Masters 1000 for the first time in his career. The 25-year-old also fell at the third-round stage in Indian Wells last season, losing to Norwegian Casper Ruud.

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Brooksby Says His Superpower Is…

  • Posted: Mar 15, 2022

Brooksby Says His Superpower Is…

American’s all-round game perplexing opponents on ATP Tour

What are the secrets to Jenson Brooksby’s success?

The 21-year-old pulled off a huge upset at the BNP Paribas Open on Monday, recovering from a tough start to beat World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

With the win, Brooksby is set to enter the Top 40 of the ATP Rankings for the first time, having been outside the Top 250 just a year ago. The American’s rapid rise has been all the more notable due to it not being spearheaded by any one specific aspect of his game.

“I think my superpower would be exploiting weaknesses in other people,” said Brooksby after the Tsitsipas win. “Also doing my best to have my own game have no flaws. [They are] the two things we shoot for in my game.”

Does the lack of a big weapon help Brooksby by allowing him to fly under the radar a little more? The American suspects so.

“I think I’m definitely underestimated,” said Brooksby. “Probably not by players, with the mentality [they] have.

“[But] I think definitely among fans, they just look for the flashy things like the technique, the athleticism, things like that. I don’t think anything [in my game] really stands out. I think that makes me underestimated [by] a lot of people.”

Opponents are wise not to be complacent against Brooksby, who has already reached two ATP Tour finals, but his playing style nonetheless makes him a difficult prospect to prepare a gameplan for. Tsitsipas suggested as much after his third-round defeat in Indian Wells.

“He’s not a very explosive player, but he’s able to get balls back,” said the Greek. “He’s not the most athletic player [either]. He’s just able to read the game well, play with his pace, play with the opponent’s pace. He’s able to read the game well and stay consistent.

“There’s nothing that he has that kills, I would say.”

Brooksby agrees with Tsitsipas’ assessment and believes keeping his strengths something of a mystery is working for him. “I think a lot of players and coaches maybe don’t see how I could be, as good of a level as I am,” said the American. “That’s what we shoot for in our games and strategy, to not be too easily figured out. That’s how the top players over history have been.

“I’m not too surprised to hear that [from Tsitsipas]. It’s what we shoot for.”

The next opponent tasked with solving the Brooksby puzzle in Indian Wells is defending champion Cameron Norrie, who battled past Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in a repeat of the 2021 final. It will be the pair’s first meeting and Brooksby hopes his game can wreak havoc against the Brit just like it did so effectively against Tsitsipas.


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Norrie comes into the match in red-hot form, however, and seems to be especially comfortable playing in the United States, where he played college tennis for Texas Christian University. The World No. 12 has won 11 matches in a row on American soil, stretching back to his title run in Indian Wells in October.

With an ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final spot at stake Brooksby could be forgiven for feeling the pressure, but as he showed when pushing 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic to four sets at the 2021 US Open, he is ready to thrive in big matches.

“Stages such as [the US Open quarter-final against Djokovic] are really what show the work you put in, the self-belief and confidence you have in your own game,” said Brooksby.

“There’s no doubt I wasn’t intimidated but I believe, and I’ve shown I can beat anyone. I just have that focus every match and try to learn from everyone I’ve played against each time as well, whether I win or lose.”

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Day 6 Preview: Red-Hot Rublev Takes On Tiafoe; Five US Stars In Action

  • Posted: Mar 15, 2022

Day 6 Preview: Red-Hot Rublev Takes On Tiafoe; Five US Stars In Action

Berrettini faces Harris, aims to reach Indian Wells fourth round for first time

Andrey Rublev, on a 10-match winning tear, is the hottest ATP Tour player this side of Rafael Nadal. The Russian has already won titles in Dubai and Marseille and began his run at the BNP Paribas Open with a routine, straight-sets win over Dominik Koepfer.

His opponent in Tuesday’s third round is Frances Tiafoe – at first glance, a player looking desperately to create some momentum. The American started his season with a five-set win over Marco Trungelliti in the first round of the Australian Open, but it was nearly two months before he collected his second victory. That came in the Indian Wells second round, 6-4, 6-4, against compatriot Brandon Nakashima.

Tiafoe, who has been plagued by an elbow injury, can take heart, for history is on his side. The one time he met Rublev, the result was a scintillating victory in five sets in the third round of last year’s US Open. This matchup of talented 24-year-olds could be the gem of the eight third-round matches from the bottom-half of the draw.

Seventh seed Rublev and sixth seed Matteo Berrettini are the highest seeds left in the bracket, leaving things very wide open to suggestion. Steve Johnson is the lowest-ranked player left, at No. 115, and the only one outside the Top 100.

Johnson is one of five Americans still in play in the bottom half of the draw. There are seven U.S. players left in the third round, the most in Indian Wells since the event expanded to a 96-player draw in 2004. Previously, there were seven Americans in the third round in 1994 when the draw was 56.

Johnson draws the tough assignment 11th seed Hubert Hurkacz, who happens to be the defending Miami Open presented by Itau champion. Hurkacz needed three sets to get past Oscar Otte in the second round, while Johnson upset No. 22 seed Aslan Karatsev 7-6(5), 6-4. They’ve met once before, with Hurkacz taking the 2019 round of 16 match at Eastbourne in straight sets.

Meanwhile, 24-year-old American Tommy Paul scored the biggest upset of the second round, taking down third seed Alexander Zverev in a taut third-set tiebreaker. His opponent is 29th seed Alex de Minaur, an Australian who had a strong round of 16 performance at this year’s Australian Open. The two have never played.

World No. 20 Taylor Fritz, the hometown favourite here, takes on Spaniard Jaume Munar in a first meeting. The 2021 semi-finalist feels his game is in a good place as he seeks a further push up the ATP Rankings.

“For sure, I think just my level as a player has gone up,” said Fritz after his straight-sets win over Kamil Majchrzak in the second round. “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.”

The last American in action is John Isner, who will face 14th seed Diego Schwartzman. It’s a study of size versus speed, with the 6′ 11″ Isner enjoying a 16-inch advantage over the speedy Argentine. Isner prevailed in their only previous meeting – at the 2017 Rolex Paris Masters – but that one went three sets and featured two tiebreakers.

Berrettini meets No. 30 Lloyd Harris for the second time, following a 2020 second-round win at Roland Garros. The World No. 6 needed three sets to get past Danish teenager Holger Rune, while Harris also went the distance before prevailing over Facundo Bagnis.

Berrettini had only won one main-draw match in three main-draw appearances in Indian Wells prior to this year, and the five-time ATP Tour titlist acknowledged the challenge the conditions in the California desert pose after his victory over Rune.

“It’s always tricky,” said the Italian. “I would say the toughest part about playing here, sometimes you feel like also the balls get really big, but at the beginning they’re really fast. It’s tricky to control this kind of stuff. Sometimes it doesn’t get the spin that you want, sometimes the ball is flying, sometimes too much spin.

“You have to have a good touch, a good feeling. Of course, the more you play, the more you’re going to get used to it.”


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Montpellier champion Alexander Bublik takes on Grigor Dimitrov. Bublik holds a 2-1 head-to-head edge but Dimitrov won their most recent meeting, in straight sets at last year’s ATP Masters 1000 in Cincinnati.

Finally, one of these players – Miomir Kecmanovic or Botic van de Zandschulp – is going to find himself in the fourth round. Kecmanovic, who finished 2016 as the World No. 1 junior, ahead of Stefanos Tsitsipas, is ranked No. 61 in the ATP Ranings. Van de Zandschulp, who qualified last year at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and US Open and played Wimbledon as a lucky loser, is the World No. 47.

The Dutchman upset ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in a three-hour, 16-minute marathon in the second round on Sunday, staying calm to take the deciding set after missing three match-point chances in the second. He will look to retain the same composure against Kecmanovic on Tuesday.

“Of course you are a little bit frustrated if you have match points in the second set,” said van de Zandschulp after the win over Auger-Aliassime. “It’s not like I missed any shots but he played some great points. Then it’s a little bit easier to deal with than when you’re missing chances. I thought I was playing well and that’s how I continued in the third.”


STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – [26] S. Cirstea (ROU) vs [24] S. Halep (ROU)
WTA – [3] I. Swiatek (POL) vs [15] A. Kerber (GER)
ATP – [14] D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs [23] J. Isner (USA)

Not Before 6:00 PM
WTA – P. Badosa (ESP) or S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) vs L. Fernandez (CAN) or S. Rogers (USA)
ATP – [7] A. Rublev vs [28] F. Tiafoe (USA)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – [6] M. Berrettini (ITA) vs [30] L. Harris (RSA)
ATP – [Q] J. Munar (ESP) vs [20] T. Fritz (USA)

Not Before 3:00 PM
WTA – [6] M. Sakkari (GRE) vs [Q] D. Saville (AUS)

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – [31] A. Bublik (KAZ) vs [33] G. Dimitrov (BUL)

Not Before 8:00 PM
WTA – [21] V. Kudermetova vs [30] M. Vondrousova (CZE)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
ATP – M. Kecmanovic (SRB) vs B. van de Zandschulp (NED)
ATP – [29] A. de Minaur (AUS) vs T. Paul (USA)
WTA – [Q] H. Dart (GBR) vs [25] M. Keys (USA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [WC] S. Johnson (USA) vs [11] H. Hurkacz (POL)
WTA – [17] E. Rybakina (KAZ) vs [31] V. Golubic (SUI)

STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – P. Martic (CRO) vs [28] L. Samsonova
WTA – I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs [5] G. Dabrowski (CAN) / G. Olmos (MEX)
ATP – R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs [PR] S. Gonzalez (MEX) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
WTA – [8] C. Dolehide (USA) / S. Sanders (AUS) vs Y. Xu (CHN) / Z. Yang (CHN)

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Kyrgios Locks In For Ruud Upset

  • Posted: Mar 15, 2022

Kyrgios Locks In For Ruud Upset

Aussie wild card seeking second Indian Wells quarter-final showing

A locked-in Nick Kyrgios soared to his first Top 10 win in more than two years on Monday night at the BNP Paribas Open. After blitzing through his opening two rounds with the loss of four games per match, Kyrgios levelled up to knock off World No. 8 Casper Ruud.

The 26-year-old’s confidence and concentration level shined through in a 6-4, 6-4 upset that evened his ATP Head2Head against the Norweigan at 1-1. Kyrgios’ all-out attack yielded early breaks in both sets, and he never came close to letting his lead — or his focus — slip in a one-hour, 16-minute victory.

In an efficient performance, the Aussie converted both of his break points and did not face any on his own serve. Kyrgios was never pushed as far as deuce on his own deal, firing seven aces and winning 82 per cent (28/34) of his first-serve points, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

With his Australian Open doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis watching from the stands, Kyrgios looked more than capable of backing up the pair’s Melbourne title with the Indian Wells singles crown.

Buoyed by early leads in both sets, Kyrgios was positive and vocal throughout the contest, pumping himself up at key moments but keeping a very even keel even after some show-stopping winners.

The closest he came to trouble was at 15/30 as he served out the match. But he showcased his variety to close it out in style with an ace, a backhand volley winner and a measured 19-ball rally that ended with a forced error from his opponent.

A seven-time ATP Tour champion, most recently on the Buenos Aires clay in February, Ruud was unable to match his fourth-round run from his Indian Wells main-draw debut five months ago.


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Kyrgios, whose six tour-level titles have all come on outdoor hard courts, has only been beyond the second round at Indian Wells once before. He made the most of that 2017 run by beating Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic to reach the quarter-finals, but withdrew with illness before facing Roger Federer.

In order to reach the quarter-finals this year, Kyrgios will have to get through 10th seed Jannik Sinner, who edged Benjamin Bonzi, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-4, earlier on Monday.

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