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Wawrinka, Thiem, Carreno Busta, Cuevas Eye Indian Wells QF Spots

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 3:22pm

• Top 10 players and Top 2 Pablos will battle in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals on Thursday when No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka meets No. 8 seed Dominic Thiem and No. 21 seed Pablo Carreno Busta faces No. 27 seed Pablo Cuevas. Three of the four boast one-handed backhands (Wawrinka, Thiem and Cuevas) and all four are bidding for their first Indian Wells semi-final.

• Wawrinka rallied Wednesday after lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka served for their fourth-round match twice. The top-ranked Swiss owns a 2-1 FedEx ATP Head 2 Head record against Thiem. He is 0-2 in Indian Wells quarter-finals, falling to Novak Djokovic in 2008 and Roger Federer in 2011. Wawrinka has reached as many ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals as Grand Slam finals (three).

• Thiem has not played Wawrinka since breaking into the Top 35 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on May 25, 2015. The Rio de Janeiro champion is already appearing in his eighth tournament of the season, spanning six countries, four continents and three surfaces. Thiem is 17-6 in 2017, tied with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Grigor Dimitrov for the most wins on the ATP World Tour this season.

• Carreno Busta, who lost to Thiem in the Rio de Janeiro final, has played even more tennis than the Austrian this season (14-6 singles, 12-4 doubles). The 25-year-old is No. 23 in singles and No. 19 in doubles -- good for the second-highest combined ranking on tour behind Jack Sock (18s, 17d). Carreno Busta reached the quarter-finals following a bye, a walkover and two wins over qualifiers.

• Cuevas defeated Carreno Busta en route to the Sao Paulo title, which he won on Monday, March 6 at 7:36 pm local time following multiple rain delays. The Uruguayan started the year 1-4, including a first-round loss to World No. 138 Arthur De Greef as defending champion at Rio de Janeiro. Cuevas is 7-0 since then, including his fourth-round win over De Greef’s countryman David Goffin.

• Carreno Busta and Cuevas share more than a name. They captured the Rio de Janeiro doubles title on February 25 after saving a match point against Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in the semis. Thursday’s match is the biggest singles quarter-final of their respective careers. Carreno Busta and Cuevas are both appearing in their first ATP Masters 1000 or Grand Slam quarter-final.

• Fifteen of the Top 20 singles players in the Emirates ATP Rankings were in the BNP Paribas Open doubles draw. None reached the semi-finals, which begin on Thursday with No. 6 seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram against Gilles Muller and Sam Querrey. Klaasen and Ram, the Delray Beach champions, eliminated Rafael Nadal in the second round and Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

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Watch your favourite players work on their games by taking in a live stream at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

View Indian Wells TV Schedule

My Masters 1000: Pablo Cuevas

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:35pm

Pablo Cuevas is no stranger to success at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events. In 2015, he clinched the doubles title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. In 2016, the 31-year-old reached the singles fourth round at the Mutua Madrid Open.

The Uruguayan has advanced to his first singles ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week. Cuevas tells ATPWorldTour.com about his Masters 1000 favourites and dreams.

Which ATP World Tour Masters 1000 host city is your favourite and why?
I love Rome. I remember studying its history at school, with the mythology, the architecture, the city in general… And the club is really nice. When you walk around, with all those statues… The Pietrangeli court is one of the most beautiful ones on Tour.

Which Masters 1000 would you most want to win and why?
I had the honour to win Rome in 2015 in doubles [w/David Marrero], but if I had to pick one for singles, I would say probably one in Europe or the United States. However, all the Masters 1000 are the same in terms of importance so any one would be great.

What is your favourite off-court memory at a Masters 1000?
For me there is not one in particular, but I love the fact that loads of people come to watch tennis, especially in Indian Wells and Miami, the two places where you can also do a lot of off-court activities. I remember I went fishing once in Miami for an activity and that was great.


What do you consider to be your best Masters 1000 win?
Miami, 2011. I beat Andy Roddick there in two sets [6-4, 7-6(4)].

What is your dream match at a Masters 1000 (who would you play & at which tournament)?
Well, to make it a dream match I should win. That’s a must. Then, the rival could be any of the Big Four, those four players who are making history in our sport: Rafa [Nadal], Roger [Federer], [Andy] Murray or [Novak] Djokovic. In any venue. Actually, an outdoor one.

Which player/champion would you consider to be the toughest competitor in Masters 1000 history?
It really depends on the surface but I would say Murray and Djokovic are the toughest ones on hard court and Rafa, (Stan) Wawrinka and also Djokovic on clay courts.

Which Masters 1000 tournament has the rowdiest fans?
Miami for sure. Although it’s true that we get a lot of support at every Masters 1000 and all the crowds are very respectful.

Federer, Kyrgios, Wawrinka Win In Indian Wells 2017

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 7:17am
Watch Wednesday highlights from the 2017 BNP Paribas Open, where there were victories from Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios and Stan Wawrinka. Watch live matches at tennistvcom. Photo: Getty Images

Nadal: 'I Didn't Have The Answer For His Returns'

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 6:59am

When Roger Federer is blitzing backhands off the ground from the outset, Rafael Nadal knows he is going to have to be on his game. So when the three-time champion succumbed to his Swiss rival 6-2, 6-3 in little more than an hour at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday he admitted he did not come up with the answers when it mattered most.

Nadal will shift his focus to capturing an elusive Miami Open presented by Itau crown now, having finished runner-up in Florida four times. He leaves knowing what he has to do next time to break a three-match losing streak against Federer – the first time he has lost as many matches in succession in their 36th FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

“I think it was always that he returned well. But at the same time, it was obvious that I didn't have the right answer for his returns,” Nadal said. “I needed to neutralise the points. I needed to neutralise his two first balls, and I didn't … I was not good enough tonight to make that happen and he deserved the victory, for sure.”


Nadal was only able to muster one break point opportunity in the match and it came after he dropped his opening service game. He was not able to break the 36 year old’s serve throughout.

“I need to hit longer and I need to hit higher to create problems [for him],” Nadal said. “I was not able to do that, and then he [had the] advantage.

“The worst thing in that match for me was from the beginning I was at a disadvantage - broken the first game of the match, and then broken in the second game of the second set. So that's so difficult to play against Roger this way.”

 Watch Full Match Replays

 The 30 year old was determined not to dwell on the fourth-round defeat for long. “When you feel that you are playing bad or you are in a bad moment, maybe it stays a little bit longer in your mind,” he said. “It is not my case.

 “I started the season great, playing great tennis, winning a lot of matches. Today I didn't play my best, but I am really confident I’m going to play well in Miami [next] week.” 

NextGenATP Stars Impress At Irving Challenger 2017

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 5:42am
Five NextGenATP stars - Borna Coric, Jared Donaldson, Karen Khachanov, Andrey Rublev and Frances Tiafoe - are making headlines at the Irving Challenger.

In Form Sock Relishes Opportunity At Indian Wells 2017

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 5:42am
Jack Sock reflects on reaching his third straight ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final and looks ahead to facing Kei Nishikori at the BNP Paribas Open. Watch live matches at tennistvcom.

Confident Kyrgios Expects Federer Test At Indian Wells 2017

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 5:42am
Nick Kyrgios insists growing confidence helped him to back-to-back wins over Novak Djokovic and he looks ahead to a BNP Paribas Open quarter-final against Roger Federer. Watch live matches at tennistvcom.

Federer Delighted By Nadal Win At Indian Wells 2017

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 5:42am
Roger Federer expresses his delight at beating his long-time rival Rafael Nadal on Wednesday for a place in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals. Watch live matches at tennistvcom.

Kubot/Melo Deny Kyrgios/Zimonjic To Reach SF

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 5:38am

Eighth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo are through to the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals after breezing past tricky wild card duo, Nick Kyrgios and Nedad Zimonjic on Wednesday. The Polish-Brazilian pair posted a 6-1, 6-3 result, breaking four times in the 56-minute outing.

Kubot/Melo will take on fourth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno after the highest-seeded duo remaining edged past the Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 7-6(5), 6-4.

 Watch Full Match Replays

Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram ended the run of Novak Djokovic and Victor Troicki on Wednesday night. The South African-American duo took down the unseeded Serbians 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 in one hour and 12 minutes to secure a showdown with another unseeded pair, Gilles Muller and Sam Querrey.

Djokovic and Troicki had sprung the upset on top seeds and defending champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the second round but were unable to build on their momentum in the quarter-finals after taking the opening set against the No. 5 seeds. Muller and Querrey – runners-up already this season in Brisbane – surprised third seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers in their quarter-final, 6-7(2), 6-3, 10-6.

Federer Thumps Double Hot Shot At Indian Wells 2017

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 4:01am
Roger Federer pulls off two impressive backhand hot shots against Rafael Nadal at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Watch live matches at tennistv.com. Photo: Getty Images

Stan Escapes To Return To Indian Wells QFs

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 3:39am
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Stan Wawrinka overcame a spirited effort from 21-year-old Yoshihito Nishioka 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) on Wednesday to return to the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals for the third time. The Swiss star had to dig against Nishioka, who was trying to gain his first win against a Top 10 player and become the first lucky loser in tournament history, since 1976, to reach the quarter-finals.

The Swiss right-hander will try to reach his first Indian Wells semi-final when he meets Gael Monfils or Dominic Thiem in the last eight. Wawrinka also reached the quarter-finals in 2008 (l. to Djokovic) and 2011 (l. to Federer).

He struggled from the outset on Wednesday evening, though, as Nishioka chased down most everything and frustrated the big-hitting right-hander with his loopy left-handed forehand. Nishioka broke Wawrinka to begin their fourth-round match, when Wawrinka sprayed a sitting forehand long, one of his 21 unforced errors in the first set, compared to four winners.

 Watch Full Match Replays

It was the first time Wawrinka had lost his serve in Indian Wells this year. He had held 21 consecutive times to start the tournament. He settled his game in the second set, though, twice breaking Nishioka to force a decider. But Nishioka again jumped on top to start the third set, crushing a forehand that bounced off the line and jammed the Swiss star.

But with the match on the line, Wawrinka showed how he's earned his plethora of nicknames – 'Stan The Man', 'Stanimal' – throughout the years. The 31 year old twice broke Nishioka when he tried to serve out the match, at 5-4 and 6-5. On his second match point during the tie-break, Wawrinka belted a forehand that even the speedy Nishioka couldn't track down, and Wawrinka raised his arms in celebration – and relief.


Wawrinka goes on to face eighth seed Dominic Thiem, who defeated Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2 in the last match of the day. The Austrian needed just 68 minutes to advance, breaking Monfils three times as he denied the Frenchman his 400th tour-level win.

Wawrinka leads Thiem 2-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, though this will be their first clash in almost two years. The 23-year-old Thiem is bidding to reach his first Masters 1000 semi-final and build on his recent good run of form, which saw him win his eighth ATP World Tour title last month on clay in Rio de Janeiro (d. Carreno Busta).

Federer Stuns Nadal In Straight Sets

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:53am

Channeling the same game plan that reaped the ultimate reward in the Australian Open final in January, Roger Federer has put on a stunning display of aggression to defeat fifth seed Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open. The four-time champion prevailed 6-2, 6-3 to set a quarter-final showdown with Australian Nick Kyrgios, after the Australian’s earlier upset of defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Federer’s victory marked the first time he had defeated Nadal three times in a row in 36 FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, following his five-set triumph in Melbourne in January and a three-set win in the 2015 Basel final.

The last time Nadal tasted victory was in the 2014 Australian Open semi-finals. This was the first time the pair had squared off before the quarter-finals since their first meeting in the 2004 Miami Open third round.

Read About Every Match Roger & Rafa Have Played

“It's a nice feeling to win the last three, I can tell you that,” Federer said. "But most importantly, I won Australia. That was big for me. On the comeback, I look back at that and think that was one of the coolest things I ever experienced in my career.

“Basel was special, too, for many reasons, because I used to be a ballboy there. After the Australian hype, to play here in America right away, all of them are very special.

“All the matches that we have played are unique in many ways for both of us, winning or losing. So I take it. Obviously I can't celebrate too long this time around. I have to get back to work in a couple of days.”

Nadal had worked himself into a winning position when he led a break for 3-1 in the fifth set in the Australian Open decider before losing the final five games of the match. In the Californian desert on Wednesday, however, he was never given a sniff of hope.

“In Australia, it was a very close match. I had good chances to win,” Nadal said. “Today, not. Today he played better than me … These kind of matches, when you're not playing your match, it is impossible to win.

“When Roger has the advantage, his serve is so good, he has a lot of confidence with his serve, he’s able to play much more relaxed.”

Read Nadal Reaction: 'I Didn't Have The Answer For His Returns'

Next up, a revenge mission against the 21-year-old 15th seed, Kyrgios. The only time prior the pair has met, it was the Australian who emerged victorious in the round of 32 at the ATP World Tour Madrid Masters in 2015.

“I'm very impressed him taking out Novak, back-to-back weeks, on Novak's best surface,” Federer said. “I hope it's going to lead to something great for Nick, that he realises if he puts his head down and focuses that he can bring it, day in and day out, week in and week out.

“When it matters the most against the best and in finals, he's there … Of course I'd like to get him back.”

A four-time champion in Indian Wells, Federer came out of the blocks in a hurry against Nadal. The Swiss ninth seed secured the opener 6-2, consistently finding his mark coming over the backhand to keep the three-time champion on the back foot.

Federer brought up a break point in the opening game and converted when Nadal shanked a forehand into the stands for 1-0. He faced just his first break point of the tournament in the subsequent game but steadied to hold for 2-0 and would not face another for the remainder of the match.


The Swiss delivered impressively off the backhand wing. His fifth backhand winner of the first set was followed by an explosive wrong-footing forehand winner to bring up a break point on the Spaniard’s serve at 3-1.

He secured the double break off a spectacular backhand return winner for 4-1 after 23 minutes. He would close out the opening set in style as he threaded back-to-back forehand winners to bring up two set points and sealed it on his first with a serve-volley winner after 34 minutes.

“I think the backhand has gotten better because I have been able to put in so many hours with the [new] racquet now,” Federer said of his more aggressive approach off the backhand. “Really, since this year I feel super comfortable with the racquet, and I think I have also gained confidence stepping into it.

“I think all my coaches throughout my career have told me to go more for the backhand, but I used to shank more. So maybe deep down I didn't always believe that I had it in the most important moments. But I think that's changing little by little, which I'm very happy about.”

 Watch Full Match Replays

Determined to make a statement he would not go quietly, Nadal started the second set with authority, holding to love with a forehand winner and an ace out wide for 1-0. Federer’s aggression continued to gnaw at Nadal, however.

His confidence surged further when he broke early for 2-1 and now redlining, the pressure from the 36-year-old Swiss was relentless. He held to love for 4-2 off an ace out wide and drew the error from a looping backhand.

Nadal was rarely in control of a point throughout and when serving to stay in the match, a forehand clipped the net and failed to trickle over handing Federer two match points. He took it on his first with a crisp backhand return winner into the corner, capping a complete performance in which his backhand, return of serve and net approaches were on song.

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Kyrgios Sprints And Rips Hot Shot Past Djokovic

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:37am
Novak Djokovic tries to catch Nick Kyrgios off guard but the Aussie sprints and rips a backhand hot shot past the defending champion at the BNP Paribas Open. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Getty Images photo.

Tiafoe Lunges For Irving Challenger Hot Shot 2017

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 12:26am
Watch hot shot from the Irving Tennis Classic as NextGenATP Frances Tiafoe shows off his great court awareness in striking this backhand on the run.

Kyrgios Snaps Djokovic's Indian Wells Win Streak

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 11:57pm
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A phenomenal serving display from Nick Kyrgios on Wednesday saw him end Novak Djokovic’s 19-match winning streak at the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-4, 7-6(3) victory in the fourth round at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Five-time former champion Djokovic had won the title in the desert the past three years, with his last defeat coming against Juan Martin del Potro in the 2013 semi-finals. But Djokovic's campaign ended at the hands of an inspired Kyrgios, whose serve did not let up throughout the one-hour, 52-minute contest.

“The run was amazing. I am very proud of it, obviously. It had to end at some stage. Unfortunately, it was today. Nick, again, as he did in Acapulco earlier, few weeks ago, he served so well. Just wasn't managing to get a lot of balls back on his serve, first and second, as well. That's what made a difference,” Djokovic said. “He obviously comes out playing his style, very aggressive, and just going for every serve, whether it's first or second. It's obviously very hard to play like that.”

It is Kyrgios' second win in three weeks over Djokovic, after his victory against the Serbian in the Acapulco quarter-finals, where again his serve was too hot to handle for the World No. 2. The Canberra native is only the second player, after Lleyton Hewitt, to beat Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in their first tour-level meetings.

 Watch Full Match Replays

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The path forward doesn’t get any easier for Kyrgios in the ‘Group of Death’ as he next faces the winner of the highly-anticipated clash between Federer and Nadal. Kyrgios is bidding to reach his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final, after reaching the last four in Miami last year (l. to Nishikori).

The 21-year-old Kyrgios showed flashes of his best tennis in a straight-sets win over #NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev on Tuesday and brought his A-game again against Djokovic. The Australian broke Djokovic in the first game of the match and had chances for a double break in the third and seventh games.

He was credited for his strong serving in his victory over Djokovic in Acapulco, and again was dominant behind his delivery, losing only seven points in the first set – just two behind his first serve. He closed out the opener with his seventh ace of the contest.


Djokovic was afforded no break-point opportunities in the second set and fended off two from Kyrgios in the 11th game to force a tie-break. The Australian dominated, though, clocking one serve at 141 mph, and closing it out with another huge serve that Djokovic could not return.

“On his first serves, to try to anticipate and read his serve, where he's going to go 140 miles per hour down the T and also pretty good angle wide, it's hard to position yourself well... It is a gamble,” Djokovic said. “His second serve, if you think you're going to have a look at it, you don't, because he goes for it as well. He didn't make too many double faults.”

Since winning the Doha title against Andy Murray at the start of the season, Djokovic has failed to reach the semi-finals in his following three tournaments, suffering a shock second-round defeat to Denis Istomin at the Australian Open. The Serbian notched his 300th Masters 1000 win on Tuesday when he overcame Juan Martin del Potro in three sets.

The Rise Of Nick Kyrgios

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 11:28pm
ATP World Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot talks to Nick Kyrgios about his finest wins on court and life on tour.

How Rafael Nadal Became The King Of Returns

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 10:36pm

Two for you, one for me.

Thats’s basically the equation that dominates the landscape whenever points start with a first serve at the pinnacle of our sport. On average, the server takes two points while the returner gets one, as the world’s best dominate with power and precision using the ultimate first-strike weapon.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis from 1991 to 2016 of the Top 20 performers in first-serve return points won show that the increased power of the first serve is overcoming the improvement players are clearly making with their return games.

The ATP Stats LEADERBOARDS, powered by the Infosys Information Platform, uncovered that points won returning first serves is in a slow and steady decline.

Top 50 Performers - First-Serve Return Points Won Average

  • 1991-2000 = 32.8%

  • 2001-2010 = 32.3%

  • 2011-2016 = 31.9%

It’s important to note that the elite level of our sport is currently filled more so with the best returners in the game than the best servers. Raw speed seems to be the primary force behind the declined performance of the returner.

Wimbledon Final - Average Serve Speed

Year Final Match Winner - Average First Serve Speed 1992  Andre Agassi d. Goran Ivanisevic 96 mph 1993  Pete Sampras d. Jim Courier 110 mph 2015  Novak Djokovic d. Roger Federer 119 mph 2016 Andy Murray d. Milos Raonic 116 mph

In the 1992 Wimbledon final, Andre Agassi averaged only 96 mph behind his first serve to defeat Goran Ivanisevic in five sets, with Agassi's fastest serve clocked at 110 mph.

In the 2016 Wimbledon final, Andy Murray averaged 116 mph, with his fastest serve clocked at 130 mph. Serve speed has risen during the past 25 years, and it seems to have had a cancelling effect on the corresponding improvement in return proficiency. In the 2016 season, the three leaders with points won returning first serves on the ATP World Tour:

  1. Rafael Nadal = 35.5% (753/2122)

  2. Novak Djokovic = 34.7% (1185/3413)

  3. Andy Murray = 33.8% (1366/4045)

In 2015, it was David Ferrer who led the tour with points won returning first serves.

  1. David Ferrer 34.5% (1117/3239)

  2. Novak Djokovic = 33.6% (1403/4181)

  3. Rafael Nadal = 33.0% (1261/3821)

Players such as Nadal and Ferrer tend to stand way back behind the baseline returning first serves to give the ball ample time to slow down and become more manageable. Players like Djokovic and Federer will be a lot closer to the baseline, looking to use the rebounding power of the first serve to hit it right back at their opponent.

Murray, No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, likes to employ a big step, then a large split step, attacking it as much with his feet as with his racquet. There is no set technique that is clearly better than the other, as returners seek to find the right balance of court position and time to battle the speed and direction of first serves.


My Masters 1000: Pablo Carreno Busta

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 10:01pm

Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta has reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final at Indian Wells this week. The World No. 23 tells ATPWorldTour.com about his Masters 1000 memories and aspirations.

What makes the Masters 1000s special?
For me, if you make it to the draw and compete, it means that you are part of the best of the world and that makes it special. 

Which is your favourite Masters 1000 tournament and why?
I’ll probably go with [the BNP Paribas Open in] Indian Wells. The facilities are simply spectacular. 

 Watch Full Match Replays

Which Masters 1000 would you most want to win and why?
I wouldn’t mind winning any of them, to be honest. Any of the nine would be just great, but if I had to pick one, I’d go with the Mutua Madrid Open, because it’s in Spain and I would play at home. 

Your favourite Masters 1000 memory?
Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters 2014 was the most special one for me. I won my first Masters 1000 match there and it’s where I’ve played some of my best tennis. I remember that I beat Gael Monfils in one of my most important wins so far.


What is your dream match at a Masters 1000 (who would you play & at which tournament)?
I would love to beat Rafael Nadal in Madrid. Championship match, that would be a dream. 

When did you first watch a Masters 1000 tournament on TV or in person?
It was in person. I don’t remember the year, but I know for sure it was in Madrid when it was played on hard courts. I saw Andre Agassi, the only time I saw him live. 

Which Masters 1000 host city is your favourite and why?
Monte-Carlo. I live in Barcelona and it’s one of the closest M1000 we have. But I also love the fact that it’s a complete different city, with glamour, luxury everywhere… Just completely different to everywhere else.

Nishikori Marches Into Indian Wells QFs

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 7:53pm
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Fourth seed Kei Nishikori reached the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals for the second year in a row as he defeated Donald Young 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday in Indian Wells.

The Japanese star rallied from a 1-4 deficit in the second set, winning the last five games to claim victory in 77 minutes. It was his fifth win in five FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings with the No. 60-ranked Young, who had reached two semi-finals last month in Memphis and Delray Beach.

“He started playing much better in the second set, beginning of the second set. I think he was stepping in a little more. And, for me, I think I backed up a little bit,” Nishikori said. “From [1-4], I think I started playing much better, stepping in a little more and playing aggressive... I'm very happy with the way I'm playing right now.”

 Watch Full Match Replays

The 27-year-old Nishikori goes on to face Jack Sock, who continued his inspired run at the BNP Paribas Open with a 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5 victory over Malek Jaziri. The American is through to the quarter-finals of this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament for the first time, having won the doubles title in the desert two years ago with Vasek Pospisil.

It was a close battle when Sock and Jaziri met in Stockholm last year, with the American prevailing in a third-set tie-break, and the Tunisian tested him again on Stadium 2. World No. 18 Sock triumphed in two hours and 37 minutes, breaking decisively in the 11th game of the decider before closing it out. He struck 13 aces and saved five of seven break points.

The 24-year-old Sock has made a career-best start to 2017, winning two ATP World Tour titles in Auckland (d. Sousa) and Delray Beach (d. Raonic). He looks to take that momentum into his quarter-final clash against Nishikori, whom Sock will face for the first time since 2014. Their FedEx ATP Head2Head series is tied at 1-1.

“Definitely playing my tennis is going to be my best chance to win. When we played in Shanghai and I was able to win, I was playing aggressive, big forehands, coming forward when I could,” Sock said of their 2014 contest. “Just trying to keep him back behind the baseline and try and move him side-to-side. If he's moving in, stepping into balls, forehands or backhands, dictating points, then it's going to be trouble for me.”


Pablo Carreno Busta reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final as he defeated qualifier Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 7-6(5). The 25-year-old Spaniard has made a strong start to the 2017 season, reaching his fifth ATP World Tour final in Rio de Janeiro (l. to Thiem) and semi-finals in Buenos Aires (l. to Dolgopolov) and Sao Paulo (l. to Cuevas). Next up for Carreno Busta will be Pablo Cuevas, who battled past 11th seed David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 39 minutes.

The 31-year-old Cuevas is in a rich vein of form. The Uruguayan is on a seven-match winning streak after winning the Sao Paulo title on clay last week (d. Ramos-Vinolas). He is now through to the first Masters 1000 quarter-final of his 14-year career and leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Carreno Busta 3-1. Cuevas beat the Spaniard in the Sao Paulo semi-finals earlier this month.

Djokovic Records 300th Masters 1000 Win At Indian Wells 2017

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 3:39pm
Congratulations, Novak Djokovic. The Serbian records the 300th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 match win of his career over Juan Martin del Potro at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday. Watch live matches at tennistvcom.