On Friday, unseeded Australian Jordan Thompson picked up one of the biggest wins of his career, ousting third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7/0), 4-6, 7-6 (7/5) to reach the third round of the WTA and ATP Masters of Indian Wells.
“It’s unreal, at a Masters 1000…to have a win like that, it’s amazing,” said Thompson, the world No. 87 whose only previous victory over a top-10 player came in 2017 against Andy. Murray at the Queen’s Club.
He admitted he felt a bit lucky when a stinging forehand from Tsitsipas on match point was ruled a hair’s breadth.
“I’m grateful the last ball came out – I thought it was in,” Thompson told fans on the court.
As Tsitsipas led the third set tiebreaker 2-1, 4-3, Thompson’s composure under pressure paid off as Tsitsipas hit a forehand into the net to set up match point to the Aussie before succumbing with the near miss.
For Tsitsipas, it was another setback following his sparkling run to the Australian Open final in January.
He left Melbourne full of energy despite falling to Novak Djokovic in the title match, but soon after suffered a shoulder injury.
Playing in his first tournament since a second-round exit in Rotterdam, Tsitsipas admitted earlier this week his shoulder still troubles him and he doesn’t have high hopes of a third Masters 1000 crown.
Tsitsipas and women’s second seed Aryna Sabalenka – playing in just her second tournament since winning the Australian Open – headlined Friday’s second round as the top seeds took to the court after having taken advantage of the passes in the first round.
Sabalenka entered the third round smoothly with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Evginiya Rodina, who was playing her eighth match since returning to competition at the US Open last year after a three-year absence.
“Happy to win this match in straight sets without struggling too much,” said Sabalenka, who has never made it past the last 16 in the California desert.
Sabalenka, still banned from playing under her native flag of Belarus due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, will next face Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko, who beat 29th-seeded Croatian Donna Vekic 2-6. 6-2. 6-2.
Ruud and Norrie pass through
Third-seeded Casper Ruud and former champion Cameron Norrie both advanced to the third round with straight-set wins.
For Ruud, a 6-2, 6-3 win over former Argentina top-10 Diego Schwartzman was a confidence-boosting win in a season in which he had so far failed to top the second round in three round-level tournaments he had played.
For Norrie, however, a 6-2, 6-4 win over Taiwanese qualifier Wu Tung-lin marked a continuation of the form that saw him reach finals last month in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro where he is fell to Carlos Alcaraz in the first. and beat Alcaraz in the second.
Schwartzman had won five of his previous eight meetings with Ruud, but the Norwegian, currently ranked fourth in the world, had little trouble against him on Friday, breaking him twice in the first set and once in the second to claim victory in one hour and 28 minutes.
“I lost to Diego here a few years ago, so it was good to get my revenge,” said Ruud, a finalist at the French Open and US Open last year, who was knocked out of the Australian Open in the second round in January.
“The goal was to try to play heavy and sometimes mix it up a bit, to come to the net and luckily today it went well for me.”
In other women’s first action, Czech Barbora Krejcikova beat Dayana Yastremska 6-1, 6-2 in just 69 minutes, avenging a defeat in Doha last year.
Former French Open champion Krejcikova just stunned top-ranked Iga Swiatek last month in the final in Dubai, where Krejcikova beat the world’s top three players.
World number five Daniil Medvedev, fresh off ATP victories in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai, was due to open his campaign against American Brandon Nakashima on Friday night.
On the women’s side, seventh seed Maria Sakkari, runner-up last year behind Swiatek, trailed American Shelby Rogers 4-1 when a rain shower in the desert halted play.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)
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