Favorites Djokovic, Murray, Sharapova Cruise In Openers; Federer, Nadal, Serena Sunday At Indian Wells
by Staff | March 15th, 2015, 11:16 am
  • 39 Comments

Former champions Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova both rolled in opening round victories Saturday at the Indian Wells Masters.

Sharapova, a two-time Indian Wells champion, kicked things off the women during the day overwhelming former US Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 7-5.

Sharapova will now meet another former champion and former No. 1 in the third round, Victoria Azarenka. The Belarussian continued her climb back to the top knocked out former Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Klipkens 6-2, 6-4.

Azarenka, who won the 2012 Indian Wells title over Sharapova and leads the Russian 7-6, looks forward to the rematch.

“It’s great for me the more matches I can get like that,” Azarenka said of the Monday match with Sharapova. “To play against one of the best players, it’s perfect. I’m looking forward to that. I definitely need to play my best tennis because she’s been playing great. So I’m really looking forward to that one.

“It’s been a while since we last played. It’s going to be exciting.”

“We have had some really good matches in the past, even though we haven’t played against each other in a while,” Sharapova said. “She’s made a few comebacks, and she’s already been playing really good tennis. I always look forward to our matches, and I’m sure it’ll be a good one this time.”

Former winners Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and defending champion Flavia Pennetta also advanced.

In the men’s draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic steamolled his way to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Marcos Baghdatis. And the World No. 1 was quite pleased with his play.

“Great performance against a quality opponent, against somebody that was a former Top 10 player and that knows how to play on a big stage,” Djokovic said. “No complaints. Everything was working well from the beginning to the end.”

Australian Open finalist Andy Murray won by the same 6-1, 6-3 scoreline outclassing Vasek Pospisil.

“It was a good start,” said Murray. “He didn’t serve particularly well. But even still, returning second serves, it was not easy.

“I thought I played quite a smart match, played solid. I didn’t go for too much, but I also felt like when we were in the rallies, I was dictating them, keeping him pinned in his backhand corner, and pushing him further and further away from the baseline.”

Other winners on the day were Kei Nishikori, John Isner, David Ferrer and Ernests Gulbis who won his first match on the season.

US Open champion Marin Cilic’s first match of the season ended in disappointment losing to Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-4.

“I wasn’t expecting that I’m going to be playing great tennis, which is always difficult in the first couple of matches,” Cilic said. “Some players do feel great from the beginning, but I’m the kind of player that needs a few matches to get into it.

“In these last, let’s say 20 days, you get some blisters by not playing,” Cilic said. “Your body is sore, shoulder is sore, wrist, things like that. It wasn’t the best, but I’m looking forward. I’m looking at this as good preparation.”

In action on a busy Sunday is Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal along with the return of Serena Williams. Nick Kyrgios and Grigor Dimitrov duel in what could be the best match of the day.

SUNDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – [31] J. Chardy (FRA) vs D. Young (USA)
ATP – N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [11] G. Dimitrov (BUL)
WTA – [1] [WC] S. Williams (USA) vs [28] Z. Diyas (KAZ)
ATP – D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – I. Sijsling (NED) vs [3] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA – [3] S. Halep (ROU) vs [26] V. Lepchenko (USA)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – H. Watson (GBR) vs [7] A. Radwanska (POL)
ATP – [6] M. Raonic (CAN) vs S. Bolelli (ITA)
ATP – [7] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs R. Haase (NED)
WTA – [22] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs S. Stephens (USA)

Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – S. Stakhovsky (UKR) vs [9] T. Berdych (CZE)
ATP – [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs K. Anderson (RSA) / J. Melzer (AUT)


You Might Like:
Australian Open Women’s Preview: Serena, Sharapova, Yawn.
Venus Williams Sings Karaoke on 311 Cruise Ship [Video]
WTA Championships Preview
Azarenka Clinches No. 1 Ranking, Meets Sharapova In WTA Championships SFs; Will The Winner Meet Serena Sunday?
Serena Williams And Maria Sharapova Dazzle On The Red Carpet [Video]

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

39 Comments for Favorites Djokovic, Murray, Sharapova Cruise In Openers; Federer, Nadal, Serena Sunday At Indian Wells

Humble Rafa Says:

For all those who believe Humble is just a headless chicken running around the court…

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-nadal-poker-dwyre-20150315-column.html


jane Says:

^ i rest my case. :)


Margot Says:

^ Right on cue, smoke screen. I rest my case ;)


jane Says:

lol: the only one who is ever defended, and the only one who is ever elaborated on with links and such. HR is a rafafanboy most definitely.


madmax Says:

Can anyone give me a livestream for the tennis matches at Indian Wells? I just get to a betting site when I use the link from.sports.


jane Says:

you could try adthe.net, live scorehunters. or sportlemon, madmax.


madmax Says:

Jane,

Tried sportlemon. Adthe.net is defunct now. :(

thanks though :)


Colin Says:

Great news for Brits, though unexpected: Heather Watson has beaten Aggie Radwanska, her first victory over a top-ten player.


Margot Says:

Wow Heather just put out Aggie! Aggie was hitting too many UEs but Heather’s serve has improved no end and she was hitting the ball really cleanly.
Go Heather!


Hippy Chick Says:

YAY Go Heather,sorry for Aggie as shes one of the most talented players on tour….


jane Says:

anyone watching nick the kid and dimitrov?


jane Says:

seriously interesting match! there is not much between grigor and nick, surprisingly. i think grigor’s experience helps though, and he does have more variety, i guess. but nick is showing surprising proficiency in defence as well as offense and his usual power.

grigor won set 1 in a tiebreak and nick just broke him in set 2, so he’s serving for the set as i write. good lord, his forehands are monstrous!


jane Says:

on serve, 2 all, in the third…


jane Says:

nick is serving for the match. let’s see if he can hold his nerves.


jane Says:

love-30. his inexperience is showing here.


jane Says:

nick gets broken back. but win or lose this shows nick is right there with the likes of dimitrov. indeed, he is not a servebot at all. he has 10 aces, for example, to dimitrov’s 14 aces for the match so far.


jane Says:

third set tiebreak will decide a very intriguing, largely even contest.

i’ll give the edge to grigor, for experience; also he’s been holding more easily; also he won the first set tiebreak; also nick rolled his ankle in this third set.

so everything is pointing to a grigor win.

but no matter what, this match was revealing.


jane Says:

i see gasquet lost, retired in the 3rd.

grigor now has a minibreak, so he should win.
…yep, he does it.
but only by a hair!


Sidney Says:

Is Stan okay? He looks out of sorts against Haase.


Sidney Says:

Stan’s not moving well, or not moving at all. Just going through the motion in this match.


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I have watched the match until 5/5 in the third.

Kyrgios played the best he could. On the other side, Dimitrov was completely unable to assess Nick’s weaknesses and to focus on them. However, it was easy to see that the boy didn’t move well, and it was enough to move the ball around, to change spin, depth and speed from shot to shot to easily win this match.

But every time Dimitrov had to play within himself, to take his time, he went for unreasonable winners…

He was very lucky at the end: instead of waiting for the physio, to regroup after the fall, Kyrgios decided to serve immediately. We know the result.


Markus Says:

Dimitrov continues to be less impressive. He is not the next Federer, next Gasquet maybe.


jane Says:

agree mat4. technically nick could have won, should have served it out. his movement is exploitabke true. but i felt he did well defensively at times.


jane Says:

wow, stan lost to hasse.


mat4 Says:

Yes, surprise, but Haase was a great potential, a player that could win against anybody, and Stan insists on a game that is very risky. He just doesn’t know to settle for less, in the middle, to use his experience.

Young seems to play well, and Tomic seems to have matured.


mat4 Says:

Dimitrov is certainly not the next Federer, but also, he is not the next Gasquet. He needs a Marian Vajda to work with him, a Belgian or a Spanish coach, even an unknown Spanish coach.

Just look at Ferrer: everything he does on the court is so simple, so logical: open the angle, go for an inside out, eventually go to the net. Nothing complicate. And, the most important: put the ball in the court.

With such a simple, but effective game plan, Dimitrov could be a top 5 player. He learned the shots from Fed, but now he has to learn strategy from the Belgians, or the Spaniards. It is simple and effective.


Markus Says:

mat4, could it be that Dimitrov wants to impress instead of just focusing on winning a point? It’s almost as if in every match he plays, he wants to hit a “shot of the day” kind of point. I think you are right, if he can simplify his game he can be truly formidable.


Daniel Says:

Fed in a clinical match, his BH was amazing so was his movement, but His opponent didn’t had much to push Roger.


Markus Says:

I wonder if there are non-Federer fans who nevertheless get impressed by what this guy do on the court.


mat4 Says:

@Markus:

That’s what I think too — I mean Dimitrov. Just like he doesn’t know how to play “normal”.

It was clear that he was hitting harder than Kyrgios and moving better. The logical plan was to hit hard, move the ball around, and make Kyrgios miss.

Instead, it was the young Australian who understood what he had to do: he tried to serve well and keep the ball in play. He went for winners when it was logical. He avoided angles. He was the better player for most of the second and third sets.


mat4 Says:

Poor Karlovic. Seems he’s going to lose. His only chance to win was to play Djokovic…


mat4 Says:

A lot of semi suprises:

Young, Haase (a real surprise here), Berrer… I hoped that Hanescu could win, he’s an elegant player with a game for another era.


jane Says:

does dimitrov even think on the court. does he have tactical acumen? it’s more like he can “zone ” but can he adjust?


mat4 Says:

@jane:

I don’t think so. I watched a lot of his matches, and it was always the same: a lot of running, a lot of efforts, but no plan.

His choice of coach is not helping, and his team — and himself — didn’t think at all about what he really needs.

Anyway, a strategy is not what you discover on court, but something you prepare before. You have to be prepared for a plan A, and a plan B. It involves two things: working on the technique, and on the shot selection.

Yesterday’s Novak’s match was a perfect example of the work of a good coach (two, in that case). At the beginning, Novak went for high bouncing kickers on Marcos BH, followed by BH DTL.

Marcos adjusted his return position. Then Novak started to serve down the middle, alternating kick and flat serves.

In defence, Novak invariably went to Marcos BH. He felt that that shot wasn’t liable enough, so he hit hard, changed direction, and accelerated when attacking the BH. He went most of time for heavy shots on that side, but he didn’t go for the lines.

The surface seemed slow, so both Novak and Marcos used slice to make the opponent generate speed, but here Novak was more successful, because he played deeper, and manage to run around his BH a few times.

You could notice that both players were consistent in their choices and game plan, trying to avoid their opponent’s strengths, avoiding to open to much angles, and playing DTL when ever it was possible.

Just try to figure what Dimitrov has in his head in a match… and good luck!


mat4 Says:

But my point here — I forgot the make it clear — was that Novak knew, in every moment, what he had to do. Because it is all prepared before: long CC FH, shot FH DTL… is a prepared strategy. The economy in his movement revealed it clearly — he was always waiting for the ball in the right position.


jane Says:

thanks mat4. maybe he’s a little like la monf, and didn’t they both have the same coach. perhaps he does need to rethink his support team.


Margot Says:

@Jane
Ah,just caught this comment after I’d posted mine on match thread. Agreeing re Monfils/Dimi comparison.


Michael Says:

The pressure is all on Novak. He made the coveted double last time around by winning Indian Wells and Miami and this time he has to defend those titles. But, Novak always loves challenges and has the willingness to combat it. He has a good chance of repeating the double this time too.


Hippy Chick Says:

^Everyone else is playing for RU spot i would think,not just now but seems to be in every tourney lately,seems like its Nole and everybody else?^….

Top story: Alexander Zverev: Winning The ATP Finals, Beating Federer Then Djokovic, It's Astonishing!
Most Recent story: Comparing Zverev With The Big 4 At The Same Age (Rafa Rules!)