Murray ousts Alcaraz to reach round of 32 at Indian Wells Masters

Andy Murray gets past Carlos Alcaraz after more than three hours at the Indian Wells Masters on Sunday. Murray awaits Alexander Zverev in the round of 32

Andy Murray (GBR) reacts after winning a point during his second round match against Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

2021 BNP PARIBAS OPEN, SECOND ROUND

MURRAY (WC) d. ALCARAZ (30) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2

  • What happened: Murray came back from a set down to outlast the 30th-seeded Alcaraz in more than three hours.
  • You will also learn: The Scot used an underarm serve and got an ace with it to help him get the momentum.
  • Why you should read this: From a rankings standpoint, it is one of Murray’s biggest wins during his comeback.

Andy Murray is trying to build some momentum at the end the end of this season in hopes of setting himself up nicely for a strong 2022 campaign. So far at the BNP Paribas Open, that is exactly what Murray is doing.

The 34-year-old eased past Adrian Mannarino in round one and then took his game to even greater heights with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 upset of Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday afternoon. Murray survived a brutal baseline battle after three hours and three minutes of play.

Alcaraz doubled Murray’s winner count (36 to 18), but the 18-year-old committed 42 unforced errors to his opponent’s 29.

“I think so,” Murray said when asked if it was one of his best wins since his hip surgeries. “He’s obviously got so much potential — so much firepower. I had to fight extremely hard coming back from a set down. I’m happy with the way that I fought. He’s a top, top young player.

“It was a brilliant atmosphere. I enjoyed it. It’s why I’m still playing.”

Murray aces Alcaraz with underarm serve

Murray’s second-set comeback included an underarm ace.

“He started returning from farther back,” Murray explained. “The courts are painfully slow here. I wasn’t getting many free points. I hit only three aces in the entire match and that was one of them. It was the first time I’ve ever tried it in a match and I got an ace.”

Murray keeps momentum in third set

The first two games of the decider proved to be critical. Both went to deuce, with Alcaraz getting broken from 40-15 up in the opening game before Murray held at 1-0 from 15-14 down. The three-time Grand Slam champion saved a total of four break points in that game. Alcaraz fought off two break points to hold for 1-2, but a second Murray break in the fifth game all but ended the Spaniard’s chances.

Murray eventually capitalized on is first match point with a perfect serve-and-volley play at 5-2, 40-30.

He will go up against Alexander Zverev on Tuesday. Third seeded Zverev needed three sets to defeat American Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in one hour and 46 minutes in another second-round clash on Sunday.

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