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DEMON DELIVERS AT INDIAN WELLS

Posted By Jedd Zetzer  
13/10/2021
22:23 PM

Alex de Minaur has claimed his second top 20 scalp of the season, taking down Chilean Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.

It took 92 minutes for the Aussie to get past the 13th seed, ending a six match losing streak against top 20 opponents this season, dating back to January.

The win improves De Minaur’s career best run at Indian Wells, as he had never previously past the second round.

Next up, the Demon will face No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for a spot in the quarterfinals. De Minaur will be looking to claim his first victory over Tsitsipas, who holds a strong 5-0 head to head lead over the Aussie. The pair have met twice in 2021, with Tsitsipas winning on both occasions in straight sets.

Tsitsipas advanced to the round of 16, coming from a set behind to defeat Italian Fabio Fognini 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

De Minaur is now the only Australian left standing on the singles side of things in Palm Springs, after Ajla Tomljanovic unfortunately exited the tournament on Tuesday, going down to No. 10 seed Angelique Kerber 4-6, 1-6 in 86 minutes.

Kerber raced away to a 5-1 lead, before Tomljanovic mounted a comeback. The Aussie earned one of the breaks back, and saved a set point to hold for 4-5, and then saved another three set points when Kerber served for the set, but wasn’t able to level it up.

Nonetheless, it was a successful tournament for Tomljanovic, as she rises to 43 in the live rankings, just four spots shy of her career high 39.

On the doubles court, Aussie John Peers and his partner Filip Polasek booked their place in the quarterfinals, defeating Dutch duo Wesley Koolhof and Julien-Jean Roger 6-4, 7-6(5).

They now face the tough task of No. 1 seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.

In one of the matches of the day on the men’s side, No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev took down Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6(4) in a tight encounter on centre court.

 

“He’s the only one of the Big Four that I hadn’t beaten yet, so I’m happy that I’ve done it today,” Zverev said in his post match on-court interview.

“Obviously it was a fantastic match. I thought Andy played extremely well, maybe as well as he’s played since the surgery. I hope he continues playing the same way, because tennis did miss him for a long time and I think it’s good to have him back.”

In one of the upsets of the day, American Taylor Fritz toppled No. 5 seed Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 6-3 in a dominant display.

"We're coming to the end of the year, I could really use a big result," said Fritz in his post match on-court interview.

“This is just what I needed, playing one of my favourite tournaments close to home."

“I had a really clear strategy on top of just doing what I do. Big first serves, attacking the first ball, trying to be aggressive and play to my strengths to try and make him uncomfortable as much as I could,” Fritz said.

Karen Khachanov, Gael Monfils and Nikoloz Basilashvili rounded out the winners on the men’s side on Tuesday.

On the women’s side, 21st seed Paula Badosa continued her impressive season by claiming another major scalp in No. 3 seed Barbora Krejcikova.

The Spaniard was scintillating in her 6-1, 7-5 defeat of the Roland Garros champion.

She becomes just the third player to beat Krejcikova since her Roland Garros title, and she’s in good company alongside the worlds top two ranked players Ash Barty and Aryna Sabalenka.

American Shelby Rogers also claimed a massive win, defeating US Open runner up Leylah Fernandez 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) in a thrilling match.

"I thought it was an incredible battle today," Rogers said in her post-match press conference.

“I thought we both played really well at times, and it was a sort of tug-of-war kind of match, one that's really fun to play actually. It's a special sort of challenge.”

"The crowd was into it on both sides. They wanted good tennis. They wanted more tennis. So I'm just really happy to come through that one and overcome some emotional and mental battles during that match and beat someone that's playing really well,” Rogers said.

In the upset of the day, 24th seed Jelena Ostapenko claimed a major scalp, defeating No. 2 seed Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-3.

“I knew it was going to be a very tough match because she's such a great player, she won a Grand Slam and she's playing great tennis," Ostapenko said in her post match on-court interview.

"I really came with a strong mentality to this match. I knew I had to fight for every point, be aggressive and I think I did that pretty well today."

19th seed Jessica Pegula also took down a top 5 seed, demolishing No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-1.

"I think I played really solid with not a lot of errors, was getting a lot of really good depth on my balls, was coming in when I needed to, serving well when I needed to. It was a great day," Pegula said in her post match on-court interview.

"I think I've just been making a lot of really good decisions in the right moments. That obviously comes with playing a lot of matches, winning and getting confidence... it's just been more belief that I can play at this level. I think this year, I realized that, and I've been having good results."

Viktoria Azarenka, Anett Kontaveit and Ons Jabeur rounded out the winners on Tuesday on the women’s side.

Listen to The First Serve with Brett Phillips each Monday at 8pm AEST on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App. 

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