ATP

Murray returns to Indian Wells with strong win over Mannarino

By Sports Desk October 09, 2021

Three-time major winner Andy Murray marked his return to the Indian Wells Masters with a strong 6-3 6-2 win over dangerous Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in Friday's first-round encounter.

Murray, who had not played at Indian Wells in four years, won in one hour and 24 minutes with a disciplined display, winning 82 per cent of first serve points.

The Briton, who only faced one break point for the match, will next take on Spanish 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, who enjoyed a fine run to the US Open quarter-finals in September.

"I think Alcaraz is really, really good," Murray said after the win. "I think he’s got a good chance at it."

On his own performance, Murray added: "I thought my mentality was good tonight. I sort of focused just on every single point.

"It's been a tough road to get back and it was so nice that so many people managed to come out and support today. I really enjoyed it."

BROOKSBY SETS UP ZVEREV DATE

Emerging American Jenson Brooksby triumphed over Cem Ilkel 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to book his spot in the second round where he will face third seed Alexander Zverev.

The 20-year-old world number 79, who was the runner-up at the Hall of Fame Open in July, prevailed in his Indian Wells debut in one hour and 44 minutes.

Brooksby dropped only four points on his serve, with Ilkel unable to generate a break point throughout the match.

The California native has been a break-out star in the latter half of 2021, reaching the fourth round at the US Open, entering the top 100 after starting the year ranked 307th.

 

SOCK PUT AWAY BY AUSTRALIAN

Former top 10 player Jack Sock was bundled out by Australian John Millman 7-5 4-6 6-3 in an epic first-round clash which lasted two and a half hours.

Sock, who has battled injuries in recent times and was handed a wild card for Indian Wells, pushed Millman all the way, with the Australian breaking to lead 5-3 in the third set before serving out for victory.

World number 61 Pedro Martinez made light work of Italian qualifier Roberto Marcora 6-4 6-0 to set up a second-round meeting with second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 24-year-old Spaniard triumphed in one hour and 15 minutes.

Former Wimbledon and US Open finalist Kevin Anderson sent down 10 aces in a 7-5 6-2 win over Jordan Thompson.

Related items

  • Davis Cup: Medvedev and Rublev seal third title for Russian Tennis Federation Davis Cup: Medvedev and Rublev seal third title for Russian Tennis Federation

    The Russian Tennis Federation sealed the 2020-21 Davis Cup after beating Croatia 2-0 in the final in Madrid.

    Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev secured a third title for the RTF following 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 and 6-4 7-6 (7-5) wins over Marin Cilic and Borna Gojo respectively.

    It completed a double for the Russians after Liudmila Samsonova inspired the women's team to glory in the Billie Jean King Cup last month.

    Appearing in their first Davis Cup showpiece since 2007, the RTF had lost only two matches during the finals – one of which coming during Saturday's win over Germany with the outcome already decided.

    Rublev broke in game seven on the way to taking the opening set against Gojo 6-4.

    The world number five was strong on his first serve, winning 36 of 39 points, and drew first blood for his nation after prevailing 9-7 in the second-set tie-break.

    US Open champion Medvedev then took on Cilic, who was attempting to keep Croatia's hopes alive in what was their third final in five years.

    The world number two's strong serve proved the difference during a tight opening set. Indeed, he hit seven aces on the way to edging his nose in front 9-7 on the tie-break.

    Medvedev then broke the world number 30 in game four to take command of the second set.

    And a crucial second break followed at 5-2 up to secure a hat-trick of Davis Cup crowns for his nation, who were also victorious in 2002 and 2006.

  • Nadal expects Djokovic to finish with the most men's grand slam titles Nadal expects Djokovic to finish with the most men's grand slam titles

    Rafael Nadal conceded that Novak Djokovic will likely end his career with the most grand slam singles titles in men's tennis history, ahead of the Spaniard and Roger Federer.

    The so-called 'Big Three' of tennis have long dominated the ATP Tour, with all three sitting on 20 major titles after Djokovic collected three from a possible four in 2021.

    Djokovic, who secured a year-end number one ranking for a record seventh time, would have completed a clean sweep if it were not for Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.  

    Nadal, by contrast, missed large parts of the season with a foot injury, while Federer was similarly ruled out for a substantial period after requiring a third knee operation in the space of 18 months.

    Nadal could make a return for the Australian Open in January, an event that the world number one may miss due to a vaccine mandate, but he still expects Djokovic to hold the record for major titles when the trio has retired.

    "Djokovic is best positioned to be the [men's] player with the most grand slams," Nadal said to Movistar.

    "You don't have to fool yourself – Federer is where he is and I am where I am. However, Djokovic is playing well and in a good moment.

    "That is the reality, and you can't ignore it. We don't know what is going to happen in nine months' time, but he is the favourite right now."

    Nadal triumphed at Roland Garros in 2020 but has only appeared at two majors since, while Federer – who hopes to return to tour-level action in 2022 – last collected a grand slam title at the Australian Open in 2018.

    Nadal is glad that the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Medvedev, who only dropped one set across the entire tournament as he denied Djokovic the perfect year, are taking over.

    "They are no longer the Next Gen, we do not have to make it eternal," Nadal said of the new 'Big Three' in tennis.

    "Players like Medvedev, Zverev or Tsitsipas have already passed that stage of the Next Gen, they are the current generation, the present."

  • Djokovic supports WTA suspending China events amid Peng Shuai uncertainty Djokovic supports WTA suspending China events amid Peng Shuai uncertainty

    Novak Djokovic has backed the stance of the WTA after it suspended all tournaments in China amid ongoing concerns of the safety and wellbeing of Peng Shuai.

    Peng made sexual assault allegations in early November against Zhang Ghaoli, the ex-vice-premier and member of the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee, and has not been seen in public since.

    She posted the allegations on Chinese social media site Weibo, though her post has since been removed and her whereabouts have been unclear.

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has held two video calls with Peng, including one on Thursday, but the WTA chairman Steve Simon said neither the first call nor an email allegedly received from the tennis player alleviated concerns.

    The WTA, who run the women's tennis tour, suspended its upcoming tournaments in China on Wednesday amid continuing concerns over Peng's safety and Djokovic agrees with the organisation's stance.

    "I support fully the WTA's stance because we don't have enough information about Peng Shuai and her well-being," the men's world number one told reporters at Thursday's Davis Cup news conference.

    "I think the position of the WTA is very bold and very courageous."

    The IOC said it will hold a "personal meeting" in January with Peng as they released a statement on the same day as the second call to repeat the message of the "quiet diplomacy" route that was being taken with Chinese sport bodies.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.