Indian Wells – first two rounds

Always nice to see: very strong field out there, all 32 seeds were covered with the first 32 ATP ranking places. A few players came back on tour: Andy Murray (five weeks time off because of his new schedule – the Scot wants to be concentrated only on the biggest events this year), Philipp anderson_iw13Kohlschreiber (4-week break due to a hamstring injury) and Mardy Fish (he didn’t play six months, heart problems); Rafael Nadal in turn, played his first match on hardcourts in 346 days.
Fish [32] notched a comeback win despite a *2:4 down in the deciding set against Bobby Reynolds, winning the last four games (won 16 out of 19 points in the end). Murray squandered six mini-set points at 5-all in the 1st set of his match against Safin’s protegee, Masters 1000 debutant Evgeny Donskoy [87], but snapped a streak of 7 losing sets in a row at Indian Wells, taking a full control over the match from 1:2 in the 2nd set to notch a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win in 2 hours 15 minutes. Kevin Anderson, who recently underwent an elbow surgery which sidelined him four weeks, and now plays with a special elastic bandage, made the biggest upset of the second round eliminating David Ferrer 3-6 6-4 6-3. The South African [37] saved a double mini-match point at 4-all in the 2nd set and recovered from a break down at the beginning of the decider. “It was fantastic,” said Anderson. “Obviously David is a great player, and especially in the past few years he’s really stepped it up. Beating a Top 5 in the world player is always a great feeling, and especially somebody like David who doesn’t go away. I mean, he fights for everything.” Last year’s finalist, John Isner has been in a poor form this year, he was beaten 7-6(6) 3-6 4-6 by Lleyton Hewitt, who didn’t lose his serve. “It’s a tough match. I knew it was going to be. Lleyton is such a good competitor,” said Isner. “I felt like I could have played a little bit better. I needed to play very well to win today, and I don’t feel like I necessarily did that. But I think Lleyton had a lot to do with it. It’s very disappointing.” Hewitt, a champion of the BNP Paribas Open ten years ago, has won two matches in a Masters 1000 event for the first time since 2009! Janko Tipsarevic and Fernando Verdasco suffered the worst main-level defeats in their careers, Verdasco won just one game against Jarkko Nieminen whereas Tipsarevic was thrashed simon_iw132-6 0-6 by Ernests Gulbis (the Serb lost a match winning only two games six years ago in Amersfoort). The 28-year-old Tipsarevic is on a 5-match losing streak not having even won a set (!), his peer Juan Monaco has been in a bigger slump. The Argentine has lost 8 out of last 10 tournament matches, including all this year. This time he wasted two set points on serve and lost 5-7 0-6 to Marinko Matosevic. Gilles Simon made second sensational comeback within one year, in Rome ’12 he rallied from a 0:4 deficit in the 3rd set against Garcia-Lopez, this time he did it the same against Paolo Lorenzi. The Italian led 4:0, 5:1 (deuce), held a double match point serving at 5:2, and blew another match point in the following game. Simon, who won 6-3 3-6 7-5, trailed also 0:3 in the opening set! Carlos Berlocq  rallied from the brink of defeat too, against Alexandr Dolgopolov. The Argentine saved a double break point at 1:3 in the 3rd set to win five straight games and the match 6-3 6-7 6-3. Novak Djokovic needed hardly 19 minutes to get the 1st set against Fabio Fognini. Everything went so easily that the No. 1 lost his concentration for about 15 minutes, and the unpredictable Italian leveled after saving a match point with a service winner. The Serb pushed himself to a harder work, saved a break point in the opening game of the 3rd set and moved through to the third round with a 6-0 5-7 6-2 decision.

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