Tiafoe Opens Indian Wells Campaign Among 10 Home Contenders

  • Posted: Oct 07, 2021

Frances Tiafoe begins his fifth BNP Paribas Open campaign on Thursday, leading a strong home contingent of 10 American men in action on Day 1 at Indian Wells.

Since beating Taylor Fritz in 2016, the 23-year-old has not passed the first round in four subsequent attempts. But he will carry a 1-0 ATP Head2Head record into his opening clash with Frenchman Benoit Paire on Stadium 1. The World No. 49 has already notched some notable wins on his North American hard-court swing, taking down then-No. 10 Denis Shapovalov in Toronto and No. 7 Andrey Rublev in five sets to reach the fourth round at the US Open (l. to Auger-Aliassime).

Countryman Tommy Paul will also feature on Stadium 1 as he attempts to fell veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez for the first time on Thursday. Lopez holds a 15-17 record in the desert and will pull clear of Roger Federer for most ATP Masters 1000 appearances with 139 when he takes on the 24-year-old American. The Spaniard, who celebrated his 40th birthday last month, had his best run at Indian Wells in 2015 when he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Murray).

Most ATP Masters 1000 Appearances

 No.  Player   Events 
 1T.  Feliciano Lopez  138
 1T.  Roger Federer  138
 3.  Fernando Verdasco  129
 4T.  David Ferrer  123
 4T.  Rafael Nadal  123

Two young Americans look to make good on wild cards when they make their respective Indian Wells main draw debuts on Thursday. #NextGenATP 18-year-old Zachary Svajda, a two-time USTA Boys’ 18s national champion, takes on Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso for the first time, while 22-year-old J.J. Wolf meets experienced Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

Wolf fell in qualifying in his only prior appearance in the desert in 2019. The 31-year-old Pospisil upset then-World No. 1 Andy Murray as a qualifier in the second round in 2017 on his way to the round of 32.

Former World No. 11 Sam Querrey opens play on Stadium 1 when he takes on German Daniel Altmaier. The 33-year-old is looking for his first singles win since Wimbledon and will carry a 1-0 ATP Head2Head record into the clash.

Former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori begins his 10th Indian Wells campaign against Portuguese qualifier Joao Sousa, the former World No. 28 . The Japanese star has an 11-10 record in the desert, including two quarter-final appearances, but fell to Hubert Hurkacz in the round of 32 in 2019.

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