Indian Wells third round action is ramping up Monday in the California desert as the top half of the men’s singles draw competes for coveted Round of 16 spots at the 2023 BNP Paribas Open. Scroll down for the rundown on all the ATP singles action from across the grounds…
19-year-old riser Holger Rune threw a wrench in Stan Wawrinka‘s best laid plans on Monday afternoon in Stadium 2, saving a match point and rallying from 5-2 down to steal the second-set tiebreak. But the 37-year-old Swiss doubled down his efforts and righted the ship in the decider to nail down a hard-fought 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 win over the No.7-ranked Dane to reach the round of 16.
“The last 45 minutes was tough,” Wawrinka admitted after the match. “I had the match in control and was playing well. I was putting a lot of pressure, I should have won the match way before.”
Wawrinka let his nerves get the best of him in the second set as he angled for his first Top 10 match of the year and his first trip to the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open since 2017.
“I started feeling nervous and hesitated a little bit,” the 2017 runner-up said. “He came back in the match. He is an amazing player, a young player… It was important to stay there mentally because I am playing well.”
Wawrinka will turn 38 in April, but before he does he’s aiming to make a big splash on the big stage at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. He will face either Jannik Sinner or Adrian Mannarino for a spot in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
“All my career I know only one way,” he said. “To keep fighting, working, pushing myself and stay positive. I am super happy with the win.”
Out on Stadium 2 on a swirly evening, 21-year-old Jack Draper realized a dream by taking out his childhood idol and British sporting legend Andy Murray, 7-6(6), 6-2.
“I’ve looked up to Andy since I was so young,” Draper said after his win. “I watched him win Wimbledon for the first time in 2013 and then I’ve had the opportunity to get to know him and practice with him often since 2019. He’s a really special person, a great champion and a great human being and it was a privilege to play against him on this court.”
The southpaw with the wicked serve and booming forehand struggled at times to keep his cadence, but he wiggled out of a tricky opening set against Murray, saving a set point while serving at 6-5, before converting his second set point of the ensuing tiebreak.
35-year-old Murray, who drops to 30-15 lifetime at Indian Wells with the loss, has not won three consecutive matches at a Masters 1000 event since he won the title in Paris in 2016.
The Scot is off to an uplifting start in 2023 however, going 7-0 in deciding sets, but he was wearing the fatigue in the second set on Monday night, as Draper trotted off with the final four games of the contest.
Tommy Paul continues has eye-opening ascension in 2023. The 25-year-old American has reeled off breakthroughs at an impressive clip this season, reaching his maiden semifinal at the Australian Open and cracking the Top 20 for the first time in the following week.
In Monday’s first match on Stadium 2, Paul put his newfound confidence on display as he rallied for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 over 9th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz to reach the round of 16. Paul improves to 14-4 on the season and 7-2 at Indian Wells as he sets a clash with Felix Auger-Aliassime in the round of 16.
After dropping the opener, Paul turned up the electricity, producing several highlight reel winners as he powered through the second set.
Better call Paul 🤙 😎@TommyPaul1's hand skills are a JOKE! pic.twitter.com/HGddqXF1pu
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 13, 2023
The final set was much more tense, but the 17th-seeded American found his way through by saving three break points while serving at 4-3, coming out of the nearly 10-minute game unscathed.
After Hurkacz held serve for 4-5 in set three, Paul finished the contest emphatically, with a love hold to seal his victory in one hour and 56 minutes.
Fritz flies on 💯
The defending champ breezes by Baez 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour.#TennisParadise pic.twitter.com/GoeJVPTlfA
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 13, 2023
Later on Monday afternoon it was time for top-ranked American Taylor Fritz to strut his stuff. The defending champion made light work or Argentina’s Sebastian Baez, 6-1, 6-2, to set a round of 16 clash with Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.
Fritz has now logged eight consecutive wins at the BNP Paribas Open, and 12 of his last 13, dating back to 2021.
Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime soared into the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time, battling past hard-hitting Argentine Francisco Cerundolo, 7-5, 6-4. The 10th-ranked 22-year-old will bid to reach the quarterfinals at six consecutive Masters 1000 events when he faces Paul in the round of 16 on Tuesday.
Paul defeated Auger-Aliassime in their lone meeting, at Montreal last year.