Swiatek, Alcaraz, Fritz, Murray advance at BNP Paribas Open
INDIAN WELLS, California. Ranked No. 1 Iga Sviatek beat Claire Liu in 65 minutes to win her first match at the BNP Paribas Open.
Swiatek, the reigning champion who took first place in the rankings almost a year ago, won with a score of 6:0, 6:1. In the first set, she lost only seven points.
“Tactically and in terms of tennis, everything was on top,” she said. “I’ve had so many matches in the last couple of weeks that I know what to do.”
The men’s runner-up Carlos Alcaraz defeated qualified Thanasi Kokkinakis 6–3, 6–3. Alcaraz reached the desert semi-finals last year and could return to the top spot for the first time since January if he wins the title.
Taylor Fritz, the reigning men’s champion, edged out former NCAA singles champion Ben Shelton 4–6, 6–4, 6–3.
Shelton’s biggest pitch reached 147 mph.
“I expected him to throw bombs by playing well,” Fritz said. “I was ready for it, I just had to regroup, just find a way and solve the problem. He’s an incredible player and it was an extremely tough first match to go out and play so I’m happy to get through him.”
Andy Murray beat Radu Albot 6-4, 6-3 in his first straight win of the year to set up a third round matchup with Jack Draper. Murray had just 18 unforced errors to Albot’s 35, and never hit a break point on his serve, throwing six aces.
“Hopefully I can keep moving up the rankings, keep building that confidence and maybe get a few more straight draws,” Murray said.
Yannick Sinner defeated Richard Gasquet, 6-3, 7-6 (2). The 21-year-old Sinner scored 20 forehands against the 36-year-old veteran.
“Obviously today was a tough match, especially in the beginning, I was a bit tight,” Sinner said on the court.
Another 21-year-old Draper beat 24th Dan Evans 6-4, 6-2. Draper lost just eight games in the first two games of his Indian Wells debut.
No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the third round by defeating Pedro Martinez 7-6(5), 6-4.
Emma Raducanou, 2021 US Open champion, beat No. 20 Magda Lynette 7-6 (3), 6-2. Lynette, an Australian Open semi-finalist, was given an early service break, but Radukanou latched onto her serve and equalized at 5 before forcing a tie-break.
“I was so happy with the way I fought. Because Magda played at a very high level,” Radukanu said. “It’s like some things that worked in the past didn’t work today and I’ve adapted.”
No. 5 Carolina Garcia outlasted Dalma Galfi, 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-4. The eighth seed Daria Kasatkina beat Tatyana Maria with a score of 6:2, 6:1.
Karolina Muchova beat two-time Indian Wells champion Victoria Azarenka 7:6 (1), 6:3, attacking the net in strong wind conditions. Mukhova returned from last year’s injuries.
The other seeded players who joined Azarenka on the sidelines were No. 25 Petra Martic and No. 28 Mari Buzkova.
Swiatek, Alcaraz, Fritz and Murray advance to BNP Paribas Open originally appeared on NBCSports.com