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Men’s Round Of 16: Ruud Stops Monfils’ Run To Reach Maiden Indian Wells Quarterfinal
2 Min Read · March 13, 2024

Casper Ruud is one of the more well-liked players on the ATP Tour. A gentleman of the highest order, the Norwegian respects the tradition of the game and shows deference to both his elders and his peers. Additionally, he’s always got time for fans, and the media.

But when it comes to mano a mano brawls on the tennis court, the World No. 9 can be downright rude. 

Beneath blue skies on Stadium 2, the 25-year-old turned up the heat on his grinding baseline game and snatched a hard-earned victory from the hands of Gael Monfils, 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4. 

Ruud will face No. 17-seed Tommy Paul next.

Monfils, bidding to become the third player aged 37 or older to reach a Masters 1000 quarterfinal (Roger Federer and John Isner are the others), certainly had his chances. He eased through the opening set and had opportunities to take a double-break lead midway through the second as Ruud struggled to cope with the clever use of variety that the Frenchman employed. 

Eventually Ruud and his world-class forehand and footwork turned the tide, as he edged even by taking the second set tiebreak. 

“Really tough second set that fortunately went my way,” Ruud said. “I saved a few break points there and clutched it up in the tiebreak.” 

In the decider, as the energized, enthusiastic crowd hung on every rally, Ruud kept up the chase and shut the door on the legendary Frenchman. Ruud, who has talked about feeling fitter after dropping about eight pounds prior to the season, is now 5-0 in deciding sets this season. 

“Gael played almost three and a half hours in the previous match, and I played an hour and 20 minutes,” Ruud said. “So obviously that’s an advantage for me, but physically Gael is so strong, I’m not sure if it bothered him.” 

The Norwegian broke for 2-1 in set three and never looked back as he locked up the victory in two hours and 28 minutes, improving to 16-3 on the season. With the triumph, the top-ranked Norwegian in history also becomes the first Scandinavian man to reach the quarterfinals at Indian Wells since Sweden’s Robin Soderling in 2010. 

Medvedev Cruises Past Dimitrov 

Daniil Medvedev’s first five appearances at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden didn’t quite match the talent level of the man who would rise to the top of the ATP rankings in February of 2022. Medvedev went 6-5 in Tennis Paradise from his debut in 2017 through 2021, but since last season the 2021 US open champion has hit his stride in the California Desert. 

A finalist last year, despite repeated claims that the conditions were tricky for him to master, Medvedev has embarked on another solid run. He reached his second consecutive quarterfinal on Wednesday with an impressive 6-4, 6-4 victory over Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov

Medvedev has now won eight of his last nine here. 

Defeated by the 32-year-old in their last meeting, at the 2023 Paris Masters (6-3, 6-7(4), 7-6(2)), and in their last Indian Wells meeting, in 2021 (4-6, 6-4, 6-3), Medvedev took the fast track to victory, improving his 2024 record to 12-2. 

"I think in general I played well. I was really consistent," said Medvedev, who dropped just five first-serve points and saved one of two break points overall. "I'm happy to beat such a great opponent in Grigor.” 

28-year-old Medvedev will continue his quest to reach another final against either Taylor Fritz or Holger Rune in quarterfinal action on Thursday. 

2023 BNP Paribas Open finalist Daniil Medvedev is once again finding his form in the desert.

Tommy Paul Ends Luca Nardi’s Dream Run 

Out on Stadium 2, No.17-ranked Tommy Paul continued his fine form and handed Italian Lucky Loser Luca Nardi a 6-4, 6-3 loss to reach his first Indian Wells quarterfinal. The 26-year-old will face Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals. 

“I would be very surprised if I won that match easy,” Paul, who is 1-3 lifetime against the Norwegian said. “He's a great player, and we've had some serious battles. Like you said, the last few haven't gone my way. Some pretty big matches, also. 

“I'm definitely looking for a little revenge there. I'm excited for that matchup.”

Nardi, the 20-year-old who became the lowest-ranked player to ever defeat Novak Djokovic at a Masters 1000 or a Grand Slam on a stunning Monday night in Stadium 1, was broken three times by Paul across the 80-minute contest. 

“I love the kid's game a lot. I think he's going to be a really good player,” Paul said.

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