Sunday, 12 March 2017

Tsonga and Murray out

So much for all the action happening in the bottom half of the draw at Indian Wells.

The second round men's matches began with the top half, and these included sixteen seeded players afforded first round byes.

Two seeds fell straight away - Feliciano Lopez (30) to qualifier Dusan Lajovic and Ivo Karlovic (19) to lucky loser in qualifying Yoshihito Nishioka.
David Goffin (11) and Gael Monfils (10) both surrendered a set in their matches before booking third round appointments, and Stan Wawrinka (3) shrugged off a run of poor form to easily join them.

However the shocks came with the two players expected to meet in the quarter finals.
After a semi final in Montpellier and successive titles in Rotterdam and Marseille, seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was sent packing by Italian Fabio Fognini in a three set thriller.  After levelling the match with a convincing 6-3 second set, Tsonga traded a string of service breaks with Fognini but dropped one too many and now just has the doubles on which to concentrate.

Top seed Andy Murray, whose Aus Open fourth round exit was less than acceptable, can add the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells to his list of disappointments.  Dubai success quickly forgotten now as world number 129 and qualifier Vasek Pospisil proved more than a match for the Scot in two sets 7-6 6-4.
The advantage of the lighter side of the draw now belongs to Stan Wawrinka should he continue finding his best form.

Interesting combinations have developed in the doubles tournament, not least Rafa Nadal and Bernard Tomic.  Tomic has already lost his opening round singles to an American qualifier, extending his losing run to five, and once more bringing into question his attitude, something never asked of Nadal.
The odd couple won its opening round against Carreno-Busta and Sousa.

Eight women's seeds lost their first matches, all second round encounters.  None of the highest seeds departed (Samantha Stosur at 16 the most prominent exit),  although Karolina Pliskova (3) and Elina Svitolina (10) both had to recover from first set losses.  Pliskova was a break down against Monica Puig in the decider before surging to victory.

Venus Williams (12) needed to save three match points against former world number one Jelena Jankovic, before squeezing through a second set tie break to square the match.  Once level this year's Aus Open finalist raced away with the match 1-6 7-6 6-1.

Tomorrow is star studded with the first matches for Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, del Potro, Nishikori, Dimitrov, and third round challenges for Pliskova (both sisters), Cibulkova, Muguruza, Kuznetsova, Svitolina and Konta.

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