Federer, Nadal Open Title Bid At Indian Wells

INDIAN WELLS, March 11, 2019 (by Sharada Rajagopalan)

The controversy regarding Chris Kermode’s removal as the ATP Chief Executive raged in Indian Wells. However, on the tennis courts at the BNP Paribas Open, action remained as interesting as well. In the men’s singles bottom-half, the two top-seeds – Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – won their openers untroubled by their respective opponents, and the repeated mentioning of their names in the Kermode kerfuffle.

But there were others, too, who dominated the storyline of the day. Like Stan Wawrinka and Marton Fucsovics who went at it full-throttle in their second-round match. The match lasted three hours and 24 minutes, with both players creating 48 break points between them. The Hungarian tamped down four match points in Wawrinka’s serve in the 12th game of the final set – after levelling the set from a break down, and then going down a break again – but the Swiss’ intensity helped him get the better of his opponent and set up a Swiss derby against Federer. This was one match that did not let down expectations, then.

Moving along the theme of expectations fructifying, Indian Wells’ Challenger champion, Kyle Edmund picked up a commanding 6-2, 6-0 win over Nicolas Jarry in the second round. For someone who had been dealing with injury and whose coach decided to retire abruptly, this win ought to offer more than token bracing. However, in terms of other results – namely of expectations being shot down – David Goffin’s inconsistencies extended here as well. The 20th seed lost to Filip Krajinovic in straight sets 6-3, 6-3, adding to the inexplicability that has continued to surround his career thus far.

Russia, too, had a great day on the field on Sunday with all three of its representatives – Andrey Rublev, Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov – picking up wins. This is the first third-round appearance in an ATP Masters 1000 event for Rublev, who made it to the main draw as a lucky loser. He will play Khachanov in the third round. His friend and older peer put a stop to Feliciano Lopez’s run in the event, leaving Karlovic and Federer to man the draw as the oldest of the lot. Medvedev’s contribution to the day came in the form of a 7-5, 6-0 win over Mackenzie McDonald, adding to American men’s tennis’ turmoil.