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Rublev crashes out of Indian Wells as Paul grabs biggest win of career
The tournament’s fourth seed is out and the American has an impressive victory to add to his tally
World No 5 Andrey Rublev crashed out of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells as the USA’s Tommy Paul secured the biggest win of his career so far, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
The two are near-exact contemporaries – both born in 1997. However, Paul’s career-high ranking came earlier this year when he reached world No 50. His previous best win came last year when he defeated another 1997 baby – Alexander Zverev, in Acapulco, 6-3, 6-4.
In California, the Russian served six aces and four double faults compared to Paul’s five aces and five double faults – but the key difference was the American taking five of his 11 break-point opportunities, where the tournament’s fourth seed took four of his 14 chances.
Paul failed to serve it out once, with match point at 5-3 in the third set, but said afterwards that he had not dwelt on it.
“I’m not thinking too much. I was pretty happy to be out there, so it wasn’t like the end of the world getting broken there,” he told ATPTour.com. “I had match point and obviously I wanted to win the match there, but I felt comfortable throughout the match.”
This is the first time Paul has reached the round of 16 at a Masters event, where he will next play Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie. He got his 43rd win of the season as he defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.