Tommy Paul picked up the biggest win of his career with a stunning 6-2 4-6 7-6(2) victory over third seed Alexander Zverev in the spotlight in Indian Wells on Sunday. After a strong start, the 24-year-old American’s luck seemed to dry up in the California desert when the hard-hitting German took a break and served at 4-2 in the deciding game.
But Zverev double faulted four times in the game to let Paul back into the game and he didn’t waste the opportunity, keeping his nerve to force a tiebreaker where he played almost faultless tennis for secure the surprise in front of an adoring crowd. “I started well, came to the net a ton and put a lot of pressure on his serve,” Paul said in an on-court interview.
“He started to serve really well there in the second set and even in the third, but I was lucky there when I had a break. We’ll always take those.” he said, laughing. Next up for Paul is a third-round clash with Alex de Minaur, who beat fellow Aussie John Millman 7-6(4) 6-3.
BUBLIK REBOUNDS MURRAY Earlier in the day, big servant Alexander Bublik got his revenge on Andy Murray, beating the former world number one 7-6(9) 6-3 to claim his first victory over the Scot in three career meetings.
Bublik won the first set tiebreaker to grab the momentum and fought his way to the finish line as Murray couldn’t convert any of his six break point opportunities. The Kazakh sealed the victory with a deft drop shot on a match point that Murray couldn’t reach.
Bublik stood up and joined the crowd in cheering the three-time major champion, who claimed his 700th career victory on Friday, as he walked off the court. Murray, who beat Bublik in straight sets in Rotterdam in February, wondered what could have been.
“Obviously in the tiebreaker we both had a few chances, but in the first set I definitely created more chances and didn’t take them,” Murray told reporters. Sixth-seeded Matteo Berrettini pulled through to survive a tough test from 18-year-old qualifier Holger Rune and hang on for a 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory.
The Italian Australian Open semi-finalist was forced out with injury in the second set of his final match against Paul in Acapulco last month and admitted to having a bit of rust. “It’s always tricky to get back on the pitch, so I’m happy to get the win,” Berrettini said.
In other second-round action, Americans Taylor Fritz, Steve Johnson, Frances Tiafoe and John Isner all won in straight sets, while Diego Schwartzman of Argentina and Hubert Hurkacz of Poland needed three sets to qualify for the third round. Masters 1000 Tournament.
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