Zverev, Auger-Aliassime become biggest casualties in Indian Wells men’s draw
Alexander Zverev and Felix Auger-Aliassime were among five seeded men to lose at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday
Third seed Alexander Zverev and ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime became the first top 10 men’s seeds to lose at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, going down in second round action at the ATP Masters Series event in Sunday.
Zverev was outhit by American Tommy Paul, who started strong and held on for a close 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 win in two hours and 17 minutes.
This was Paul’s second big win in Indian Wells, having beaten fifth-ranked Andrey Rublev in the desert in 2021.
Meanwhile, Auger-Aliassime went down to Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in a marathon three-setter that lasted for three hours and 16 minutes.. Ranked No 9 in the world, Auger-Aliassime has enjoyed an incredible start to the season, helping Canada to win the ATP Cup, followed by a quarter-final finish at the Australian Open, a first ATP singles title in Rotterdam and a runner-up finish in Marseille.
“My game was too poor”: Auger-Aliassime
But on Sunday, he came up short against van de Zandschulp, who has consolidated his surprising US Open quarter-final run to break into the top 50. The 26-year-old Dutchman let three match points slip in the second set before coming back to win 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 in three hours and 16 minutes to advance to the fourth round.
Understandably, Auger-Aliassime was disappointed with the loss. “It was a long match so there is many moments that I look, kind of look back on and regret, but I think once it was one set all I think I needed to have a much better start in the third set considering that I had the momentum back which is very poor for me to lose that first game the way I did. Still had some chances to come back. I fought. I gave it my all, but it wasn’t good enough today. I mean, credits to him, he served well. He deserved to win at the end. My game was too poor.”
van de Zandschulp will next meet Miomir Kecmanovic, after the Serb upset 24th seed Marin Cilic 6-7, 6-3, 7-6. Cilic had two match points in the final set tiebreak, leading 6-4 before Kecmanovic came back to win the last four points in a row.
Unable to convert chances, Murray goes down to Bublik in straight sets
The Brit, who had beaten Bublik in Rotterdam just last month, had severl chances – four break points in the first set as well as two set points in the tiebreak but Bublik fought back to win it 11-9. Murray was also unable to convert two break point chances in the second set and one break of serve was all the Kazakh needed to complete the 7-6, 6-3 win in just over two hours.
“He obviously came up with some good serves at times, but I certainly had my chances and against players that play that style of tennis and have obviously big serves and are not easy to break, you need to be ruthless when you get your chances and I just didn’t quite play well enough in those moments today,” Murray said after his loss.
Bublik was happy to avenge his loss to the four-time Grand Slam champion. “For me, it’s great to have a win here,” he said in his on-court interview. “To beat Andy, finally – if he would be my age, it would have been a lot tougher.”
Bublik will next meet 33rd seed Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Australia’s Jordan Thompson in straight sets. 16th seed Pablo Carreno Busta was defeated by fellow Spaniard Jaume Munar 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 and 22nd seed Aslan Karatsev was upset by American wild card Steve Johnson 7-6,6-4.