With the 2023 BNP Paribas Open turning the page on its first round, we figured it was time to round up some of the most memorable matches, players and moments – awards show style. Check out our 2023 Bracket Awards for the first round of action.
We had quite a few memorable men’s first-rounders, but it’s a no brainer to hand this one to Andy Murray d. Tomas Martin Etcheverry. The three-hour, 12-minute triumph was one of many marathon matches for the three-time Grand Slam winner & former World No. 1, who has earned a bit of a reputation for these kinds of wins in 2023.
And it doesn’t get any easier – up next for Murray is reigning Montreal champion Pablo Carreño Busta in the second round.
🏅 (Q) Rebecca Peterson d. Marta Kostyuk – 7-5, 5-7, 7-5
This one might not have been at top quality from start to finish, but wow, was it was tense. Kostyuk came into the BNP Paribas Open off the back of her first career title in Austin, Texas just days prior. Showing a few signs of fatigue, she fought tooth and nail defending the heavy forehands coming off qualifier Peterson’s racquet in multiple multi-deuce games in the final set. But the steely Swede wouldn’t relent, and eventually a string of untimely errors undid the Ukrainian’s efforts to keep her win streak going.
Tough to call an upset in the first round with seeds getting a bye into the second, but Danielle Collins has the pedigree of a Top 10 player and Dalma Galfi was a lucky loser into the draw. Nevertheless, it was the Hungarian who scored the straight-sets win over the American favorite, who never quite found her range on a toasty Thursday afternoon.
Far from a dream desert debut for Alycia Parks, who came into the BNP Paribas Open with plenty of momentum but was unable to summon the best of her big-hitting game to trouble a steady Anna Kalinskaya.
🏅 Wu Yibing‘s controversial match point
Gotta be the Wu Yibing match point.
The supremely in-shape Marton Fucsovics needed to summon all of his stamina to rebound from a 6-1 dusting in his first set against J.J. Wolf – and he did just that, serving up a bagel set to level the match and then cooking up a mini-comeback from 1-3 down in the third to earn a place in the next round.
🏅 Ben Shelton (d. Fabio Fognini)
All eyes were on Ben Shelton after his breakthrough quarter-final at the Australian Open in January, but he handled the pressure masterfully. He was dealt a tricky draw in the form of mercurial Italian Fabio Fognini, but ended up cruising to victory on the back of his big-serving lefty game.
Get ready for an all-American showdown in the next round with Shelton taking on defending champ Taylor Fritz.
🏅 Elizabeth Mandlik (d. Alison Riske-Amritraj)
Hats off to Elizabeth Mandlik, daughter of Czech champ Hana Mandlikova, for a gritty win over veteran Alison Riske-Amritraj, who is never an easy out. She led by a set and a break before her elder compatriot mounted a comeback, but the 21-year-old Mandlik was able to close out the win for her first at the WTA 1000 level.
🏅 Andy Murray, King of Shadows