Alcaraz, Fritz, Swiatek advance at Indian Wells

Indian Wells, California. Carlos Alcaraz defeated Tallon Greekspur 7-6(4), 6-3 at the BNP Paribas Open on Monday, joining defending champion Taylor Fritz in the fourth round.

Former NBA players Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash sat front row as they watched Alcaraz push forward in the Southern California wilderness, where he was a semi-finalist a year ago. The 19-year-old Spaniard could return to world number one by winning the title here.

Fourth seeded Fritz thrashed Sebastian Baez 6-1, 6-2. Fritz served four aces and won 88% of his first serve against the 30th seed Baez of Argentina.

“I try to treat it like any other tournament, but it’s pretty hard not to know I’m defending a title,” Fritz said. “I’m constantly reminded of this.”

Andy Murray’s streak ended with a 7-6(6), 6-2 loss to 21 year old Jack Draper.

“I’ve looked up to Andy since I was a kid,” Draper said. “I first saw him win Wimbledon in 2013 and then I had the opportunity to get to know him and train with him often since 2019. He is a truly special person, a great champion and a great person, and it was a privilege to play against him on this court.”

Murray has not won three consecutive Masters 1000 matches since winning the title in Paris in 2016.

Also advancing was Stan Wawrinka who defeated No. 7 seed Holger Rune 2–6, 7–6(5), 7–5. American Tommy Paul defeated Hubert Gurkacz with the ninth number, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Rune saved match point and rallied 2-5 to win a tie-break in the second set. But Wawrinka recovered in the third, forcing his 19-year-old rival to pack up.

“The last 45 minutes have been tough,” Wawrinka said. “I controlled the match and played well. I put a lot of pressure – I should have won the match earlier.”

Wawrinka reached the fourth round at Indian Wells for the first time since 2017 when he lost in the final. He turns 38 next month.

“All my career I have only known one way,” Wawrinka said. “Keep fighting, working, pushing yourself and staying positive. I am very pleased with the victory.”

No. 8 Felix Auger-Aliassime avoided the error and beat Francisco Cerundolo 7-5, 6-4.

In the women’s fight, Iga Swiatek defeated the 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu with a score of 6-3, 7-6 (1).

“I’m glad I got the opportunity to play under pressure a little more and we’ll see how I handle it,” Swiatek said on the court.

No. 4 Jabeur once lost to Marketa Vondrousova, 7-6(5), 6-4. 5 Caroline Garcia defeated Layla Fernandez, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1.

Qualifier Varvara Gracheva knocked out No. 8 Daria Kasatkina, 6-4, 6-4.

Emma Raducanou, 2021 US Open champion, beat No. 1. 13 Beatriz Haddad Maia, 6–1, 2–6, 6–4.

The final set lasted more than an hour, Radukan interrupted Haddad Maya’s serve and increased the score 4-3. Radukanu held on to the end and closed it on her fourth match point. It was her biggest win over an opponent since her breakthrough at the US Open.

The next match for Radukan is the fourth round match against Swiatek.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll be ready tactically; my coach is good at tactics, so I just trust him,” Swiatek said. “I’m pretty sure I’ve already got into the rhythm, so I hope to play better with every match.”

No. 10 Elena Rybakina beat reigning champion and doubles partner Paula Badosa 6:3, 7:5.


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