Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - Radu Albot plays Mitchell Krueger during the first round of qualifying for the BNP Paribas Open in Stadium 3 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open)
Moldova’s Radu Albot, top seeded in BNP Paribas Open qualifying, moved one step closer to the main draw on Tuesday night with a rain-delayed, 6-1, 6-4 decision over American Mitchell Krueger.
Ranked No. 53, Krueger arrived in the Coachella Valley playing some of the best tennis of his decade-long career. The 29-year-old reached the Montpellier semifinals in February, and followed with a triumphant run in Delray Beach — his first ATP Tour title.
Nicknamed “Machine” by his fellow players, Albot led the 160th-ranked Keruger 6-1, 4-4 in Stadium 3 when play was suspended due to rain. When the foes retook the court, Albot sprinted to the finish, closing out his opponent in one-hour, 22 minutes. He neutralized both break points he faced, and won 40 of his 53 service points on the evening.
Albot moves on to face Slovak Lukas Lacko, who survived a tight three-setter against Canada’s Peter Polansky, 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(3).