Chilean qualifier Cristian Garin shocked third-seeded Casper Ruud 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells on Sunday as in-form Briton Cameron Norrie survived a scare.
Garin’s attacking game paid off as he dispatched world number four Ruud in just under two hours.
Tenth-seeded Norrie, who reached the final in Buenos Aires and lifted the trophy in Rio de Janeiro last month, was down a set and 4-1 to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel before rallying for a 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-2 victory.
Garin, ranked 97th in the world, earned his first hard court victory over a top-10 player and continued his impressive form in the California desert, where he hasn’t dropped a set in qualifying or main draw matches at the ATP and WTA combined event.
“The way I played today I’m so happy,” the 26-year-old said. “I was aggressive the whole match.
His 39 winners were too much for Ruud, a two-time Grand Slam finalist last year who had hoped a quick victory over Diego Schwartzman in his second-round opener would mark a turnaround in a season where he hadn’t advanced past the second round in three prior tournaments.
He broke Garin’s serve just once, to level the second set at 3-3, but the Chilean turned up the heat again in the tiebreaker and earned a meeting with Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 winner over Karen Khachanov.
Norrie, the 2021 Indian Wells champion, looked like he, too, might be headed for an unexpected exit after 103rd-ranked Daniel squeezed out the first-set tiebreaker and grabbed an early break on the way to a 4-1 lead in the second.
Daniel, with metronomic consistency from the baseline, looked poised to pull off a repeat of his 2018 Indian Wells victory over Norrie, when they met in the first round.
But Norrie was able to make the necessary adjustments and dominated in the third.
Former world number two Alexander Zverev, seeded 12th as he works his way back from the torn ankle ligaments that ended his 2022 campaign at the French Open, said he was fortunate to come out on top in a 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 victory over Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori.
“Starting the second set and to be honest throughout the third set I felt like he was the much better player and I just kind of was hanging onto the match,” the German said.
“I was just trying my best and I’m happy that I found a way because it was all about that today.”
After recovering an early break in the third set, Ruusuvuori had four chances to break Zverev in the ninth game but couldn’t convert. Serving to force a tiebreaker, he led 30-15 but three straight errors from the baseline handed Zverev the match.
“To be honest I think he played much better than me throughout the match,” Zverev said. “It’s just the way it is sometimes. This is tennis, one or two points can decide a match and I’m happy that I won those points.”
Pegula battles back
Zverev next faces either red-hot Russian Daniil Medvedev, who is coming off three ATP titles in as many weeks, or Ilya Ivashka.
Their clash headlined a night session that also featured Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus taking on Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko.
In other early matches, third-seeded American Jessica Pegula again rallied from a set down, beating Anastasia Potapova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Last year’s runner-up, Maria Sakkari, shook off a slow start to beat Ukraine’s Anehelina Kalinina 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Sakkari, the seventh seed, needed two and a half hours to seal her second straight come-from-behind victory.
She was down a break in both the second and third sets, but held on and will face either Veronika Kudermetova or Karolina Pliskova for a place in the quarter-finals.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)
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