Murray Earns Landmark 700th Win At Indian Wells

Andy Murray (photo: ATP Tour video)

INDIAN WELLS/WASHINGTON, March 12, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

Andy Murray has created his fair share of tennis history during his storied career. On Friday, he aimed to create more history when he stepped on Stadium 1 court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden to play his first-round match in the BNP Paribas Open against Taro Daniel on another sunny afternoon in Tennis Paradise.

Murray began his 14th appearance at Indian Wells in winning fashion with a 1-6, 7-2, 6-4 victory that was wrapped up in an hour and 57 minutes. In doing so, Murray became just the 18th player in the Open Era of men’s tennis – and fourth active one behind Roger Federer (1,251 wins), Rafael Nadal (1,043) and Novak Djokovic (991) – to earn 700 career victories.

Looking back, the 34-year-old won his first tour-level match against Santiago Ventura at Queen’s Club London in 2005. In picking up win No. 700, it marked the third time Murray has faced Daniel this season. The 106th-ranked qualifier from Japan defeated Murray at this year’s Australian Open in Melbourne before the wild card Murray gained revenge last month in Doha. With Friday’s win in the California palm desert, Murray now leads their head-to-head series 3-1.

“I did well to fight back in that one,” Murray said during a court-side interview following his win. “Taro was playing extremely well, and it [700] a target I set for myself at the end of last year. Obviously, I’m happy to achieve it. Not too many guys manage to get to do that. With everything that’s been going on the past few years, I could have been way past 700, but I kept fighting and got there, and now it’s on to try to reach another milestone. This was a good one.”

During Friday’s match, each player enjoyed a five-game run with Daniel’s coming in the lopsided opening set, while Murray countered in the second set to level the match and force a deciding set. Murray grabbed a 5-4 lead and gained a couple of match points at 40-0 and 40-15, which Daniel erased. However, Murray won on his third match point, in which Daniel struck a forehand long on the third shot of the final rally. He finished with 14 winners to 27 by Daniel. Although Murray was outpointed, 72-62, he made eight few unforced errors and managed to convert five of 12 break-point chances.

Murray celebrated with several emphatic fist pumps into the air. It’s another career milestone for the Scotsman and was 17 years in the making after turning pro in 2005. With his place in tennis history secured, no longer does Murray need to make excuses about his battered body, which surprisingly has held together well this season after having a new hip inserted that nearly forced him into retirement a few years ago.

“I managed to start to improve as each set went on,” Murray said, “and finished off well in the end.”

Murray improved his lifetime record at Indian Wells to 28-13 despite never having won the first leg of the Sunshine Double. His best finish came in 2009 when he reached the final and lost to Nadal. He was a 2007 and 2015 semifinalist, losing both times to Djokovic.

Looking ahead, Murray will face No. 31 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in Sunday’s second round. Murray is 2-0 against the talented but unorthodox Bublik, including a recent win in Rotterdam. “He’s unbelievably talented, got great hand skills and plays different to a lot of guys on the tour these days,” Murray said. “He started this year well, but if I play well, I’ve got a shot.”

Friday’s Day Three highlights


As the men’s draw wrapped up the completion of the first round, with no seeds seeing action, one player who stood out was Danish NextGen rising star Holger Rune, who earned his first ATP Masters 1000 main draw victory with a 61-minute 6-3, 6-2 upset win over No. 42 Ugo Humbert of France to advance to the second round.

The 18-year-old Rune, who is ranked 86th, qualified for the main draw with a couple of victories earlier this week. Rune, who did not face a break point, won 78 percent (32 of 41) of his service points and outpointed Humbert 55-37.

“It feels amazing. It was a great match,” Rune said, quoted by the ATP Tour website. “Ugo is a difficult opponent. He can play some unbelievable tennis. He beat Medvedev this year, the best player in the world, so he definitely has a level that is good. But I also know he lost a lot of matches, so he’s maybe not the [most] confident and I think I used that in my favor to play aggressive, to really keep him playing every shot and every ball.

“I did that well from the beginning, starting out strong. [It was a] great crowd out there, so I’m super happy with the first victory.”

Next, Rune will face No. 6 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy.

“Next match is a huge test against Berrettini, so it’s going to be fun to see how it’s going to go,” Rune said. “For sure, he’s a great player, one of the best in the world right now. So, it’s going to be fun. Let’s see what happens.”

• Other men’s first-round winners included: Emil Ruusuvuori, Oscar Otte, Dominik Koepfer, Jordan Thompson, Miomir Kecmanovic, Tommy Paul, Steve Johnson, Facundo Bagnis, Botic van de Zandschulp, Kamil Majchrzak, Sam Querrey, Brandon Nakashima, lucky loser John Millman and qualifier Jaume Munar.

• Doubles No. 1 seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, both of Croatia, were upset by big-hitting wild cards John Isner and Jack Sock, both of the United States, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 10-7. The Americans outpointed the Croatias 75-66.

• Australian Open champions Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios, both from Australia, scored an entertaining 7-5, 1-6, 10-2 victory over Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil.


• No. 3 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland, the highest seed remaining in the top half of the women’s draw following the pre-tournament withdrawal of No. 1 seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, dropped the opening set of her second-round match against Ukraine’s 50th-ranked Anhelina Kalinina. Then, Swiatek reset and lost a single game during the remainder of the match and advanced with a 5-7, 6-0, 6-1 victory.

“I think at the beginning, I was too focused on the conditions,” Swiatek said during her on-court interview afterward . “I was a little bit distracted by what was going on with the wind. … I had to find my rhythm, and in the second set, I did that.

“I’m pretty happy that I could turn my hat on to ‘fight mode’ and really stay focused, because that was the key.”

Next, Swiatek will play No. 29 seed Clara Tauson of Denmark, who advanced with 6-4, 5-3 win over No. 61 Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil.

• No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic was upset in her season debut by No. 71 Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4. Kovinic rallied from 6-2, 5-2 down against the former World No. 1, who is coming back from an arm injury.

Kovinic’s victory against the World No. 8 Pliskova, who never reached match point, was just her third against a Top 10 player in her career and the first on a surface other than clay. Next, she will play No. 28 seed Liudmila Samsonova of Russia, ranked 32nd, who defeated No. 64 Ann Li of the United States, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

• No. 8 seed Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain was upset by 53rd-ranked American Alison Riske, 0-6, 6-3, 6-1, in an hour and 33 minutes. Riske, who lost the first nine games of the match recovered and won 12 of the last 13 from the World No. 9 Muguruza, twice an Indian Wells quarterfinalist. Riske, who converted six of nine break-point opportunities, outpointed her opponent 71-57.

The victory was Riske’s 10th Top 10 of her career and her first since 2019 and it’s her first advancement to the third round at Indian Wells in eight tries. Next, she will play No. 25 Madison Keys of the United States, who fought past No. 95 Misaki Doi of Japan 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

• No. 11 seed Emma Raducanu of Great Britain won her first match at Indian Wells with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 victory over No. 66 Caroline Garcia of France in 91 minutes to advance to the third round. It was just the second win of the season for Raducanu following a 1-3 start and just her 11th career main draw match at tour level. Her match and win came immediately after fellow Briton Andy Murray earned his 700th career win on Stadium 1 to start the afternoon.

“It was definitely a tough match to win,” Raducanu said in press. “Caroline is a really tricky opponent because she is really aggressive and plays very quickly.”

Although Garcia hit more winners than Raducanu – 22 to 15 – she also hit 18 more unforced errors, 39 to 21. Raducanu outpointed Garcia 79-57. Next, she will face No. 79 Petra Martic of Croatia, who advanced with a 7-5, 7-6 (6) win over No. 19 seed Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia.

• No. 12 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, honoring her war-torn country by wear her flag’s colors in a ribbon on her kit, was upset by British qualifier Harriet Dart, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, in two hours and 16 minutes. The 122nd-ranked Dart outpointed Svitolina 100-90 and converted eight of 21 break-point opportunities.

• No. 24 seed Simona Halep of Romania, who won the 2015 Indian Wells title, battled past No. 52 Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, which broke a 2-2 tie in their career head-to-head. Alexandrova was hampered by 14 double faults and 46 unforced errors, while Halep was steady in hitting 14 winners to just 16 unforced errors.

A pair of double-break leads – 3-0 in the first set and 4-1 in the deciding third set – were a difference maker for Halep, who has reached the third round in nine of her 11 appearances at Indian Wells.

“I’m happy that I could win this match,” Halep said in her post-match comments. “I think I did what I had to do, but I’m looking forward to the next one to play a little bit better.”

Next, Halep will play against No. 16 seed Coco Gauff, who defeated fellow American Claire Liu, 6-1, 7-6 (4), in two hours and three minutes and gave herself an early 18th birthday gift.

• Other women’s second-round winners included: No. 15 seed Angelique Kerber, No. 23 seed Daria Kasatkina, No. 26 seed Sorana Cirstea, Kaia Kanepi and lucky loser Anna Kalinskaya.

Friday’s BNP Paribas Open results

Saturday’s BNP Paribas Open order of play

By the numbers

By garnering his 700th career win Friday at Indian Wells,Andy Murray extended his run to six straight ATP Tour events with at least one victory. His semifinal showing at Sydney in January remains his best result this season.

“Quotable …”

“This was a target I sort of set myself at the back end of last year. It’s a lot of wins. Obviously very happy to get it here, and let’s go for 800 now.”

Andy Murray of Great Britain, during his post-match interview Friday following his 700th career victory.