Saturday, March 9, 2019 - Philipp Kohlschreiber plays Nick Kyrgios in the 2nd round of the BNP Paribas Open in Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open)
Philipp Kohlschreiber is one of those players whose name you don’t want to see next to yours come draw day.
Now 35 and some seven years removed from his career-high ranking of No. 16, the German veteran has made a career of being overlooked and pulling off upsets. There was his takedown of Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros in 2009; his defeat of Andy Murray in Monte-Carlo in 2010; his win over then-No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal in Halle in 2012.
John Isner found this out the hard way, too. The unheralded Kohlschreiber beat the American three years in a row (2012-2014), in the same round (Round of 32), on the same court (Louis Armstrong Stadium) at the US Open.
Nick Kyrgios became the journeyman’s latest victim on Saturday at the BNP Paribas Open. Facing Kohlschreiber in Stadium 2, the 31st seed fell 6-4, 6-4 in just one hour and 14 minutes.
Kyrgios, 23, arrived in the desert on the heels of winning the title in Acapulco, where he dispatched three Top-10 players: Nadal, Isner and Sascha Zverev. But his stay in the desert was cut short by a player ranked No. 39.
Kohlschreiber converted two of four break-points chances, while Kyrgios was 0-for-5. For his efforts, he’ll next play the winner of tonight’s matchup between top-seed and five-time champion Djokovic and American Bjorn Fratangelo.