Indian Wells tennis: Andrey Rublev overcomes home favourite Tiafoe, enters 4th round
Indian Wells : World No. 7 Andrey Rublev of Russia overcame home favourite Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4 in a potentially tricky matchup to secure a place in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open here on Wednesday (IST).The 24-year-old Rublev crashed 21 winners during the 70-minute match to extend his winning streak to 11 after he took the titles in both Marseille and Dubai.”To play Frances is never easy and I’m happy to be through and through to the fourth round for the first time in Indian Wells,” said Rublev to atptour.com after the match.”We’ll see what’s going to happen. Now (there’s) no pressure, I’ve done better than ever here, so now I just need to try to relax and play tennis.”Rublev also avenged the loss to Tiafoe in the five-set thriller at the 2021 US Open. He will now take on 2021 Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in the fourth round. The world No. 11 beat American Steve Johnson 7-6(7), 6-3 earlier in the day, and will be looking to reach the quarterfinals for the third time in three appearances in Indian Wells when he faces Rublev.
Indian Wells has been a happy hunting ground for Hurkacz, who reached the quarterfinals here on his first two appearances in 2019 and 2021. A win in the fourth round will make it three consecutive trips to the quarters for the Pole at the Masters 1000 event.Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, the 33rd seed, defeated 31st seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4 in a 69-minute performance. Dimitrov next meets 23rd seed John Isner of the US, who was a 7-5, 6-3 winner over 14th seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 7-5, 6-3.Isner will try to reach the Indian Wells quarterfinals for the first time since 2014, when he made the semifinals.Sixth seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy survived a mid-match slump to reach the fourth round of the tournament for the first time, moving past Lloyd Harris of South Africa 6-4, 7-5.”It means a lot (to reach the fourth round),” Berrettini said. “I like the conditions but for some reason, I have never been able to play my best tennis here. I am happy with my performance, Lloyd is a tough opponent. It feels really nice to reach the fourth round for the first time. Every year I am improving.”Berrettini will next face Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia after the world No. 61 defeated Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 7-6(3), 7-5.