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Best Of Round 3: Iga's Historic Dominance And The Luckiest Of All Losers
4 Min Read · March 12, 2024

The third round is in the books at the BNP Paribas Open, which means that we’re here to celebrate the greatest achievements – offbeat or otherwise – from the last two days of main draw action. Scroll down as we hand out the trophies! 

Queen of Bagels

Who else but Iga Swiatek? The 2022 champion has handed out two 6-0 sets through two matches at this year’s BNP Paribas Open. Since Swiatek made her main draw debut in Tennis Paradise in 2021, she has won six 6-0 sets.

Swiatek has earned this award many times over. The Polish juggernaut has won 49 sets by the score of 6-0 since the start of 2022, and owns a record of 46-0 in those matches. 

Top Teen Award

It has to go to the only teen to reach the round of 16 at this year’s BNP Paribas Open: Coco Gauff. The American took out Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti, 6-2, 7-6(5) on Monday to reach the round of 16. 

The victory will be Gauff’s last as a teenager – she turns 20 on March 13.

A quarterfinalist at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time last year, Gauff will face Elise Mertens next. 

Dreamiest One-Hander

Connoisseurs of the single-handed backhand will want to check out this laser from Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti. The 22-year-old is one of the few players 25 or younger that keeps one hand on his off wing – and he does it with style!

Most Epic Racquet Trouncing

Talk about a no-doubter. Hands down, this one goes to Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands.

Extremely Lucky Loser

After losing in qualifying, Italy’s Luca Nardi got into the main draw as a lucky loser (replacing Tomas Martin Etcheverry) and progressed to the third round, where he proceeded to take down the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. But make no mistake, there was nothing lucky about Nardi's victory.

He didn’t get the victory in the end, but the World No. 123 scores points for acquitting himself nicely against the Grand Slam king and for being the only player outside of the Top 100 to reach the men’s singles third round. 

Top Thriller

Ben Shelton takes top honors here, thanks to his 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(5) victory over swashbuckling Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo. The pair traded blows late into the evening on Sunday, closing the week in style with a hard-hitting clash that got the fans up and out of their seats.

“It's just one of those atmospheres you love playing in,”  Shelton said after his third career Indian Wells win. “There's people screaming for me. There's people screaming for Fran… It's all love guys. I know you guys were screaming at me, but hopefully we can still be friends!”

The Ultimate Heater Award

There are a lot of players riding winning streaks at Indian Wells, but nobody has been better this season than Italy’s Jannik Sinner. The World No.3 improved to 14-0 on the season on Sunday when he defeated Jan-Lennard Struff, and stretched his career-best winnings streak to 17.

Mother Knows Best Award

We give this award as a joint award, to Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber. The pair of former World No.1s advanced to set a round of 16 clash on Sunday, and they also demonstrated their mom chops during their down time. 

Asked by a reporter if their children had met yet, Wozniacki said they have delayed the meeting due to the fact that each of their babies had a bit of a cold. That’s smart mothering. According to Wozniacki, her babies – Olivia and James – will meet up with Kerber’s baby – Liana – at Miami. 

Best Underarm Wizardry

Gael Monfils breaks out the underarm serve at 3-2 in the second set tiebreak against Cameron Norrie? Bold move, Lamonf… And he wins the point!

Age Is Just A Number Award

37-year-old Gael Monfils is the oldest player remaining in either singles draw and the flamboyant Frenchman is playing strong. After his victory over Norrie, he told reporters that he still believes he can make noise against the elite players on tour. 

“I still believe I can play,” Monfils told reporters on Monday, and we wholeheartedly concur.

Best Quote

Today’s top quote is a love letter to the BNP Paribas Open, from the one and only Stefanos Tsitsipas. It reads: 

“Dear Indian Wells, Thanks for creating it. You've been mean to me in the past, but I still have lots of love for you, and I'm here to make up and create good memories together. So please give me your love, give me your full support, and I'm sure I'm going to be your special one.”

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