Murray pulls out another 3-set win at Indian Wells
INDIAN WELLS, California. Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has gone undefeated this season in matches that end in a decisive third or fifth set, coming back to defeat Thomas Martin Etcheverry 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4 in over three hours at first round of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.
Murray, a 35-year-old with an artificial hip, faced a couple of break points while serving 15-40 and already trailing 4-3 in the final set. Implement any of these moments, and Etcheverry would have served to win.
But Murray, who was runner-up at Indian Wells in 2009, managed to hang on there by starting a three-game streak against Etcheverry, the 21-year-old Argentine who is 61st after reaching the tournament final in Santiago, Chile. last week.
So far in 2023, Murray is 5-0 in best-of-five matches that go three sets, and 2-0 in best-of-five matches that go five. He is 0-3 in competitions that end early.
Another three major title winner, Stan Wawrinka, made a successful return to the hard-surface tournament in the California desert after a four-year absence, defeating qualifier Alexander Vukic 6–4, 1–6, 6–1.
Wawrinka, a 37-year-old ranked 3rd and now 100th after a series of left foot and left knee surgeries, hit 10 aces and won 28 of 33 first innings. His previous match in Indian Wells was a third round loss to Swiss Davis Cup teammate Roger Federer in 2019.
Wawrinka will face No. 26 seed Miomir Kecmanovic in the second round of the first Masters 1000 event of the season.
Former 3rd place finisher and 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem lost to Adrian Mannarino 4–6, 6–4, 7–6 (5). The Frenchman won the last three points in the tiebreaker to defeat Tim, the 2019 Indian Wells winner, whose ranking has dropped to 102 as he recovers from injuries to his right wrist and stomach.
Emma Radukanou, who won the 2021 US Open as a teenager, returned to the court on Thursday for the first time since January after suffering from tonsillitis and trailed 2-0 in every set during what became a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Danka Kovinic.
Another 20-year-old, Ben Shelton, started off with a 2-0 loss to Fabio Fognini and then won 12 of the last 15 games 6-4, 6-1. Shelton, the 2022 NCAA singles champion from the University of Florida, who hasn’t won a match since reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, will play No. 4 seed and defending champion Taylor Fritz next.
Fognini was cautioned for loud obscenity and for taking too long to prepare for the return pitch; he also hit with a racket during a match, but the chair umpire did not cite him for it.
Thanasi Kokkinakis scored 32 of the 34 points he scored in a 6-4, 6-1 win over wild card Brandon Holt to earn Saturday against defending US Open champion and top seed Carlos Alcaraz.
Danielle Collins, runner-up at the 2022 Australian Open, lost her second match in a row to a non-top 50 opponent by knocking out 80th-seeded Dalma Galfi 6-4, 6-4. Halif lost in qualifying, but advanced to the main draw when someone withdrew. Collins posted only nine winners, committing 41 unforced errors.
In a match featuring American former Grand Slam singles champions, 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin beat 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stevens 6–4, 6–1. Claire Liu defeated Anna Karolina Shmidlova 7-6 (5), 6-3 and will face #1 Iga Swiatek in the second round.
Varvara Gracheva, who qualified for Indian Wells after reaching the final in Austin, Texas last week, defeated Ysaline Bonaventure 6-2, 6-2; Katerina Sinyakova beat Jules Niemeyer 7:5, 6:4; and Jill Teichmann beat Ashlyn Krueger 6-1, 6-4.
In terms of other results, Jack Draper beat qualifier Leandro Riedi 6-1, 6-1 to set up an all-British match against No. 24 Dan Evans; Mackenzie McDonald defeated Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-0 and Marton Fuksovich beat JJ Wolf with a score of 1:6, 6:0, 6:3.