Murray, Djokovic Drop Sets But Win At Indian Wells; Federer, Nadal Back On Court Monday
by Staff | March 11th, 2013, 12:01 am

The last two US Open champions, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, both struggled on Sunday needing three sets to advance into the Indian Wells third round. Murray, who had lost three straight matches in the desert, dropped his opening set to Evegeny Donskoy before right the ship to pull away for a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 win.

“Once I got into more of a rhythm, I was able to dictate more of the points,” said Murray. “But he played some good stuff. He doesn’t force anything. I think he’s pretty smart on the court, too.”

Murray had lost the last two years in this round to Donald Young in 2011 and last year to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The Scot who reached the Indian Wells final in 2009 moves on to a third round date on Tuesday with Yen-Hsun Lu. He’s now won eight straight in the States.

Djokovic played later in the day and initially seemed to be in cruise mode dominating the drama queen Fabio Fognini. But the Italian pushed Djokovic winning the second before the World No. 1 regained command in the third.

“Mentally I was there,” said Djokovic, a two-time Indian Wells champ. “Confidence level is high obviously because of the run I had this year. Game wise, everything works. I had a very bad game at 4-2, couple of unforced errors, got him back in the match. Next thing you know, we’re one set all and a couple of tight games.

“But look, I’m not concerned. I know I have been in this situation before where I had minor setbacks in a match, especially in the opening matches where I’m trying to get used to the court, the conditions, and so forth. He’s a good player on this surface. He loves playing on slow surfaces. He made me work. He made me earn my points. In the end, I have done what I needed to do. The W is there, so I feel good about myself.”

Fognini drops to 1-20 career against Top 10 players. Djokovic has now won his last 19 matches since being upset by Sam Querrey in Paris. The Serb now gets the Grigor Dimitrov.

Also on Sunday, another US Open champion, Juan Martin Del Potro, shook off former Top 5 Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4. Kei Nishikori, Tommy Haas, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Nicolas Almagro were other seeded winners along with Mardy Fish who made a successful return to tennis with a tough three set 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over countryman Bobby Reynolds.

Fish had been off the tour dealing with heart issues since withdrawing from a fourth round match against Roger Federer at the US Open. And today, the 31-year-old was down a break in the third before winning the last four games of the match.

“It’s been a tough few months, for sure. You sort of feel like it was a win just to get back out there,” said Fish who reached the Indian Wells final in 2008. “There are a lot of people that have sort of dealt with what I’ve dealt with and not come back. It’s nice to just play, first and foremost, and then you get out there and you want to win.”

In the women’s draw, former champion Maria Sharapova advanced as did Aga Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani and Jamie Hampton who’s the lone American woman left in the field.

“I thought it was a tough one,” said Sharapova after a 7-5, 6-3 win over Carla Suarez-Navarro. “She’s dangerous. She’s beaten top players in Grand Slams before. She has a really solid game, a lot of variety, but she can hit the ball, as well. A few things that I definitely want to improve for the next one. But I was happy I got through on not a great day.”

On tap tomorrow are six former No. 1s: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Lleyton Hewitt, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka. Nadal has won his last 10 matches. Azarenka is undefeated on the year at 15-0.

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
[4] A Kerber (GER) vs [30] Y Wickmayer (BEL) – WTA
[5] R Nadal (ESP) vs L Mayer (ARG) – ATP

Not Before 2:30 PM
[29] E Vesnina (RUS) vs [8] C Wozniacki (DEN) – WTA
I Dodig (CRO) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] V Azarenka (BLR) vs [28] K Flipkens (BEL) – WTA

Not Before 8:30 PM
L Hewitt (AUS) vs [18] S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
J Nieminen (FIN) vs K Anderson (RSA) – ATP
[20] A Seppi (ITA) vs [Q] E Gulbis (LAT) – ATP
[6] T Berdych (CZE) vs [27] F Mayer (GER) – ATP

Not Before 5:00 PM
[11] A Ivanovic (SRB) vs [24] M Barthel (GER) – WTA
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) – ATP
[WC] A Murray (GBR) / J Murray (GBR) vs T Huey (PHI) / J Janowicz (POL) – ATP

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Novak Djokovic Is The New Leader In All-Time ATP Masters 1000 Titles
Federer v Coric, Del Potro v Raonic In SFs at Indian Wells Sat.
Defending Champion Bianca Andreescu Withdraws From Indian Wells
Kim Clijsters Takes Wildcard Into Indian Wells

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46 Comments for Murray, Djokovic Drop Sets But Win At Indian Wells; Federer, Nadal Back On Court Monday

Truthsquad Says:

Sara Errani is American now?

Gordo Says:

Er… No. Still Italian.

Alok Says:

The top 4, aside from some hiccups, are doing just enough to win the matches they play. By the QFs, they should all be playing better. I still think it will be any one of them winning, especially since most of their draws have openend up very n cely.

This tournament should be Aza’s, because Serena is not playing.

John Says:

Nadal match canceled..

Mayer has a back injury.

alison Says:

Rafa has a WO Mayer has an injury.

alison Says:

LOL John sorry you beat me to it.

Brando Says:

Darn it re Rafa.

WO was the last thing he needed right now.

Gulbis (i think?) is next and he will be very, very tough for rafa to beat IMO.

In fact Ernie would be the fav i feel- he’s always had the talent, now he seems to be on some real form.

A must watch match!

budum Says:

I love Rafa but I don’t expect to see Rafa vs Fed after this walkover

van orten Says:

Ahhh come on!! Rafael pls Make the quarters. I wanna See u go To the bathroom just before match point AS last year!!!

skeezer Says:


the DA Says:

So Gulbis up next for Rafa. Where’s the popcorn?

El Flaco Says:

I don’t expect Fed and Nadal to play in the quarters even if both of them get there. Nadal will withdraw due to a knee injury. Ernie could definitely take out Rafa before we get to that point which may be the best anyway so we don’t have to deal with the drama on the message boards.

Brando Says:

IMHO, i think Gulbis beat’s Rafa.

Why not?

He’s playing more than well enough to do so and Rafa is lacking matches on HC enough to let Ernie capitalize and take advantage of.

This shall be a cracker of a match- mouth watering prospect really.

It’s great to see a talent like Ernie create such a buzz for a match once again.

PS: Didn’t Ernie push Rafa hard on clay many years ago?

I think it was at the ROME MS if i remember correctly.

Anyhow: IF he could push Rafa hard on clay then he DEFINITELY can beat him at IW!

He’s the FAV for that one IMO!

mat4 Says:


Did you see Ernie’s FH? Laughing stuff..

alison Says:

Brando i would say it depends Rafas still match cold on HCs,and Gulbis did blow hot and cold in that match,and i would think that Rafas still a better player than Seppi anyway,and would also be better at been able to capitalise on the Gulbis lapses,but unfortunatly it works the other way around too,but i think a walkover was the last thing Rafa needed right now(sigh).

RZ Says:

I think the W/O will hurt Rafa. Also depends on which version of Ernests Gulbis shows up for the 4th round match. I was at Indian Wells over the weekend and saw the Gulbis vs. Tipsarevic match. Gulbis was on fire and just shellacked Tipsy in about 45 minutes.

RZ Says:

^Of course, Gulbis could also decide he’s bored and not give Rafa much resistance. I hope it’ll be a good match but Gulbis is fun to watch when he’s on.

Thomas Says:

“Did you see Ernie’s FH? Laughing stuff..”
Ernies new forehand he has developed is ugly, but its been getting him good results this season, and that’s all that matters.

El Flaco Says:

Federer injured his back, but managed to finish off the last few games in tank mode. Maybe he will be the one to withdraw from the next match.

jane Says:

Ernests Gulbis took 3 hard fought sets to beat Seppi. Rafa is 4-0 over Gulbis. Are people seriously predicting an upset? I know Rafa’s a bit rusty, but I will be quite surprised if Gulbis beats him!

the DA Says:

Federer injured his back? I must have missed it. What happened? I saw the end of the match and Dodig was just falling apart but Roger didn’t look hindered by anything.

In other news, Andy wins The Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award. Well deserved.

Brando Says:

Are people seriously predicting an upset?

Why not?

Seems a reasonable projection when some folks are crying impending doom when the world no.1 who is on a 19 match winning streak is in danger of losing to clay experts such as Fognini on his surface of choice!

Considering such supposedly worthy reason of concerns, again i say:

why not?

jane Says:

That’s great news DA! Woot for Andy.

the DA Says:

Just saw tomorrow’s OOP: Fish/Tsonga up first, Novak/Dimitrov 3rd (hope that will be a good contest) Murray 1st night match.

Brando Says:

@the DA:

‘In other news, Andy wins The Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award. Well deserved.’


Absolutely a worthy winner!

IMHO Andy needs to get a hold of himself mentally and continue in this aggressive brand of tennis he is playing in the main recently.

Should he do so, IMO, there is NO real reason or obstacle that cans top him from being the world no. 1- EVEN this year!

As soon as he stops the dithering and mental walkabouts that he seems to go on some occasion’s then he’ll be the new world number 1 IMO!

jane Says:

As I say Brando, I’ll be quite surprised for the reasons mentioned. No doubt Ernie likes a big scalp and he can play, but I would just be surprised to see it. I haven’t seen any of Gulbis’ recent matches, but if he struggled to beat Seppi, I can’t seeing beating Rafa.

I don’t know if you watched the Fognini match but Nole was in a spot of bother certainly – he almost lost serve early in the 3rd. After he broke, I wasn’t too worried though. Just that he was playing crap. Frankly, i thought in some regards Rafa looked better than – or as least as good as – Nole in his match (Rafa was great at net, his forehand was clicking, not too many errors – other than doubles).

jane Says:

Jo is 3-0 over Mardy, but they have played some good ones.

Nole has played Dimitrov only once – last year at Shanghai.

I was kind of surprised by how easily Gasquet beat Jerzy. Is Reshard in awesome form or what? Missed the matches today.

the DA Says:

@ brando – agreed! Let’s hope he achieves his goal. Although I think No. 2 is more realistic.

Finally a pic of the famous scowl as he receives the award:

Brando Says:


Enough with your utterly pe….. perfectly reasoned takes! :-)

LOL, bet you though pessimistic was due next didn’t you?

LOL, your a fair minded Canadian who is a true lover of looking at both sides of a possible perspective- just like Canadian’s i met at university.

God did i hate their reasoned arguments in debates! :-)


Honestly: I wouldn’t be surprised at all, hence i call Ernie the fav.

I’m not a shy rafa fan- if my guy stands a genuine chance i’ll certainly say so, regardless of what popular opinion maybe.

In this one though, when i take into account Rafa’s situation and Ernie’s form i feel that the Latvian is the true fav here.

Of course, it goes without saying, should Rafa lose there will be an element of surprise and DEFINITELY a few impending doom headlines.

Goes with the territory i guess!

jane Says:

Nice pic DA – what a “dour Scot” he is eh? ;)

Brando, I do think Rafa will come through, but an upset isn’t out of the question I suppose – I just wouldn’t predict it myself.

My pick is Rafa until Ernie proves me wrong. ;)

I know I am pessimistic about my fave, though, guilty as charged!

Just reading through the Rafa/time rule thread. Phew, lots of strong opinions.

Brando Says:

@the DA:

Of course no.2 is realistic, the ranking tell’s us so in all.

Yet, when one considers Andy’s form over the last 8 months, most especially in the GS, then IMHO – and i say this as a Rafa fan- it’s one he should be in by now and would justifiably carry that tag based on the merit of his excellent big match performances in that time.


Why not?

He has many advantages:

1- Fitness: He is a fantastic athlete, one of the finest in all of sports today. Thankfully, not a injury prone one either. How Rafa would love such a starting point!

2- Game: Booming first serve, variety on both FH/BH, excellent movement, returns, net play, ability to play defense to offense- what does he lack? IMHO, aside from Federer he CLEARLY has the broadest and varied game out of the big name players! A wonderful game he has.

3- Tactical genius: Andy has THE GAME that can upset Nole, Fed and Rafa. And he can do so on the big occassions as he has been there and done that!

4- Peak age: THIS is his time, his oppurtunity. IF he doesn’t strike now or feels he isn’t ready for it then i ask: when will he ever be?

5- PERFECT opportunity: Fed is 31 going 32, Rafa is unfortunately injury prone. That leaves Nole: a guy who has a mountain of points to defend before he can even entertain the though of gaining. Andy, meanwhile, has various points in the season in which he can realistically gain a great amount of points!


For me the moment is now regarding Andy.

When the iron is hot, one must strike it- and so should Andy as he is in fantastic postion to shake things up IMHO!

Brando Says:


LOL, Did you read and or enjoy my courtly request to our resident sweetheart Skeez?

Surely you agree, right? :-)

El Flaco Says:

the DA Says:
Federer injured his back?

March 11th, 2013 at 7:58 pm

It happened when Fed was serving at 4-1 up 30-15 in the 2nd set. He stumbled when Dodig hit the return and it pulled his lower back when he bent over. If you watch his last few serve attempts in that game you can see he was hitting serves like you do in a warm up. If you watched him closely he was walking funny too.

Humble Rafa Says:

IMHO, i think Gulbis beat’s Rafa.

You need to ask your mind to stop thinking. You think Baby Face is going to beat your Humble Highness. No way. We will see tomorrow.

Only way he wins is if I am injured. Just throwing it out there, that’s my insurance policy

#fit humble never loses #

Daniel Says:

El Flaco,

To me he was serving weird all match. One of those days where it hurts more. Similar thing happened in Wimby. He was having a lot of issues and some thought he would even retire in his third round or round of 16th, but by the time he was in semis agaisnt Djoko, he wasn’t feeling his back anymore, at least not the way he was in that match.

Wog boy Says:

Is anybody watching Hewitt? Strange thing happened, ball was called out, Wawrinka challenged and camera has shown yellow mark which was clearly ou but hawk eye said it was in. Hewitt was fuming.

Wog boy Says:

^^^Unless it was wrong mark but I don’t think so.

Wog boy Says:

I was never Hewitt fan but I admire his desire to play and gives 100% whenever he is on the court even now at 31, Tomic could learn lot from Hewitt.
Really nice match, Wawrinka is serving for the match.

Wog boy Says:

Actually Hewitt is 32 years old, game, set,match Wawrinka.
Hewitt can be proud with himself and his performance, Wawrinka at his best.

nadalista Says:

I have to share this with any Rafans out there….

This is from a poster called @oldfanoftheblog on the Queridorafa Blog “The Thwarted Twartle”:

“The Importance of bea(t)ing Ernests

That’s right…. Rafa’s next opponents are the Latvian Triplets, also known as Ernests the Slacker, Ernests the Jailbird and Ernests the Serial Qualifier. The first two are harmless, but the last one could spell trouble for Rafa… if he shows up!”

I am so glad I am a member of the Rafa fan society! Where else are you going to “meet” such funny people??

Humble Rafa Says:

I am so glad I am a member of the Rafa fan society! Where else are you going to “meet” such funny people??


Nadal Nation is happy to have you. I hope the pleasure is all yours.

nadalista Says:

^^Thank you, your Humble Highness. It is indeed an honour and a priviledge to at last receive your recognition.

*prostrates self*

jamie Says:

Andy will win a slam this year. Either Wimbledon or USO. It would be great if he could win the Wimbledon/USO double. USO win will be harder because that slam is on Nole’s racquet.

skeezer Says:

Wog boy re;12:09 am post

Welcome to the “Fleisher” Hawkeye.

Wog boy Says:

From what I have seen and the mark camera has shown it was clearly out and Hewitt did have a reason not to be happy with Hawkeye.
If you haven’t seen the match then I can tell you that your man has to be 100% focused, Wawrinka is playing really well.

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