Nadal, Federer Dominate In Indian Wells Debuts; Dimitrov Slips Past Kyrgios, Sharapova-Azarenka Monday
by Staff | March 16th, 2015, 12:00 am

On a day rife with upsets, the top names Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams all won in comfort.

Federer had no trouble with the diminutive Diego Schwartzmann crushing the Argentine 6-4, 6-2 in 63 minutes. Federer, a 4-time Indian Wells champion, sets up a Tuesday rematch against the man who gave him his only loss on the season, that a third round shocker at the Australian Open to Andreas Seppi.

“I’m happy to play him again,” Federer said of the Italian. “I was very disappointed with the performance I had in Australia. I know he can play well and can beat me, that’s not the problem. It was the way I was hitting the ball. I wasn’t playing very committed. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to hit my forehand and backhands. It was just a tough match overall and the match slipped away from me.

“I really thought Seppi did a good job and nice job of putting the pressure on me, as well,” he said. “I hope this time around it’s going to go better for me. I will be prepared, there is no doubt about that. I’m happy I’m getting an opportunity to play him right away again.”

In the evening, Nadal eased past Igor Sijsling 6-4, 6-2. Rafa will play fellow lefty Donald Young in the third round after the American continued his improved play dispatching Jeremy Chardy.

“I feel like the main thing is I’m being a little more consistent, playing one good match after another one, battling through tough situations, and not letting them be too much and take me out of my rhythm,” said Young.

“It’s a big win for me. Every win at this level is a big win. I don’t think he played his best. I thought I competed well. You’re not able to play great every day, so I’m glad I was able to play well enough to win today.”

The match of the day lived up to the billing has Grigor Dimitrov outlasted a hobble Nick Kyrgios 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6(4). The young Australian actually served for the match at 5-4 in the third set. But with an injured right ankle he suffered on the previous point that gave him the break at 4-4, Dimitrov broke right back, then closed out the 19-year-old in a final set breaker.

“It obviously played a big part in me not serving out the match, because I had not really been broken before that,” said Kyrgios of the injury which he will undergo an MRI for tomorrow.

Added Dimitrov, “Coming to the tournament, to any tournament now, I feel much more comfortable, much more confident… I have been out there on those kinds of courts. I think it’s definitely an advantage for me… But I think the game still needs to improve a little bit more. [It] needs a bit of a polish up.”

Other winners included Milos Raonic, Jack Sock and Steve Johnson.

Stan Wawrinka was the big stunner of the day as the No. 7 seed fell in three to Robin Haase.

In the women’s draw, Serena sharpened her gave dismissing Zarina Diyas 6-2, 6-0 in just 53 minutes to reach the fourth round in her first Indian Wells event since 2001.

“I was just trying to get there and win my match in the first round,” she said. “I ended up playing a girl who was super tricky, and I was trying to stay focused, plus all the other stuff going on. But yesterday was super relaxing. It was good to have a day off to have a chance to prepare for my next match.

“Today it definitely felt back to normal out there, just trying to feel the rhythm and feel the ball. I was able to do more of the right things and not make as many mistakes as I did in my last round.”

The win was Serena’s 8th straight at the event. She’ll now take on Sloane Stephens in a hot Tuesday ticket.

“I’ve had some tough matches with Sloane,” Williams said. “She’s had an interesting year, but I’ve noticed she’s been playing really well. She moves well and tries to do her best for everything.

“It will be an interesting, good match-up for me.”

Three top 10 seeds did fall as 2014 finalist and No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska lost to Heather Watson, No. 8 Ekatarina Makarova was knocked out by the red hot Timea Bascinszky and No. 10 Lucie Safarova was sent off by Elina Svitolina.

On tap Monday, defending champions Novak Djokovic and Flavia Pennetta return, but all eyes will be on the big showdown in the evening between rivals and former Indian Wells champions Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka.

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – [6] E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [30] C. Vandeweghe (USA)
ATP – [4] A. Murray (GBR) vs [26] P. Kohlschreiber (GER)
WTA – [16] M. Keys (USA) vs [18] J. Jankovic (SRB)
ATP – [6] M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – [32] V. Azarenka (BLR) vs [2] M. Sharapova (RUS)

Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – A. Mannarino (FRA) vs [14] E. Gulbis (LAT)
ATP – [28] F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [5] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [18] J. Isner (USA) vs [16] K. Anderson (RSA)
WTA – [5] A. Ivanovic (SRB) vs [25] C. Garcia (FRA)
WTA – [15] F. Pennetta (ITA) vs [21] S. Stosur (AUS)

Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP – [12] F. Lopez (ESP) vs [20] P. Cuevas (URU)

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36 Comments for Nadal, Federer Dominate In Indian Wells Debuts; Dimitrov Slips Past Kyrgios, Sharapova-Azarenka Monday

metan Says:

Congrats Rafa for winning the first match.

Margot Says:

Nick didn’t play Davis Cup because of back problems, now his ankle. He’s very young and I do hope he’s not going to be an injury prone player.
Dimi played some wonderful shots, but so reminds me of Monfils with his preference which seems to be for “showboating” rather than winning.
Hope I’m wrong, cos he’s actually such a beautiful effortless player to watch.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Roger was pretty good and clinical in his match. Serving was just awesome. I think he is still getting feel on the ground strokes.

Not sure about Rafa. Did not get to see his match, but based on scoreline looks like he had a comfortable match.

M Says:

Nirmal, Rafa had a good match; he said in an interview with TTC he wants to work on his serve.

Of course his shoulders aren’t as broad as Roger’s so, he has to work harder on that.

But the groundstrokes looked great. Placement looked great, and he said he was happy with his movement.

Speaking of movement, loved Roger’s hustle. I think working with Coach Stefan has really improved his willingness to go after the ball; make sure the point is finished, not rest on some brilliant stroke on the assumption the other guy doesn’t get it back. He finishes his points with emphasis. Loved it.

Vamos! Allez!

nicolescu liliana rodica Says:

I don’t but I see that for you Simona Halep is not important, she is a person, but not verry important for you. She is a miracle, from our country, and for us she is the one and the most important the is a unicate.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

M.. good to hear about Rafa. Waiting for their semis, wish it happens. Very curious to see how Roger would fare this time, considering his serve is a major weapon now (though it’s been this way before too) and his exquisite volleys at the net which had never been better that what he is playing now.

KatH Says:

Didn’t see Roger’s match but the reviews are surprisingly contradictory – still, a win is a win irrespective of the mixed reactions. I’m sure he’ll make short work of Seppi.

Michael Says:

I think Seppi would be really a challenge for Roger, but he should come through this time around hopefully.

Rafa on the other hand is trying to regain his form that has deserted him right since he made his come back and his progress has to be watched keenly. The real test for Rafa will come when he meets the top players on tour.

As Nirmal has pointed out, it would be ofcourse very interesting if these two players meet in the semi finals for their meeting would happen after quite some time.

Hippy Chick Says:

Agree with Colin on the other thread,unless its about Roger/Rafa/Novak/,people dont seem interested in tennis outside these three,Britains own Heather Watson returning from injury recorded a huge scalp over a top 10 player in Radwanska,whos also one of the most talented female players on tour,yet hardly a mention,when Andy lost we had a thread with god knows how many posts on it,yet when a Brit gets a big win like this its meh who cares?….

Hippy Chick Says:

Michael i also doubt lightning is likely to strike twice?….

KatH Says:

What about Berdych? Doesn’t he deserve a reasonable headline? It must be bitter-sweet to be practically ignored in favour of so many articles on the top 3 players..

Hippy Chick Says:

KatH i agree it should renamed Fedalovic X LOL….

malher Says:

Correction – Federer won 6-4; 6-2! !!!

I-love-tennis Says:

Federer has won the match with exactly the same score as Rafa 6:4 6:2. I watched the match and Fed wasn’t at his best, he even voiced his frustration when he missed an easy backhand in the sixth game of the second set. He made a lot of unforced errors especially from bh side but i guess that his form will go up in the next match.

Margot Says:

I too was thinking, oh come on, there are OTHER players out there!

jane Says:

the dimitrov/kgyrios match was super fun to watch. i hope nick isn’t badly injured because he showed improvement w.r.t. defense and movement, though it’s still exploitable. dimitrov in fact hit more aces that kgyrios. dimitrov is also a better returner that kgyrios, which is another area nick could still improve. whether dimi gets past robredo next? …hard to say. he should. but whether he will is a whole other ball game.

RZ Says:

@Hippy Chick – I watched the Heather Watson match live. She played really well – hit lots of beautiful passing shots down the line and outpowered Radwanska. Aga was a little flat, but it was still a strong performance from Heather, especially in the second set as she was behind in that one for a while.

SG1 Says:

Seppi is toast this time around.

madmax Says:


Not wishing to rain on the British parade, but I just find it so boring, the women’s game –

There is so much more action with the men’s game, don’t you think?

Of course, it’s great the Brits are in the winning mood again, but unless it’s Murray or Ward, I kind of am immune to what is going on in British Tennis.

Margot Says:

Apart from usual brain fart, Andy is looking pretty good!
Come on!

the DA Says:

@Margot – The first set was spectacular. It’s always the 7th game of the 2nd which is trouble. Strange that. But Kohls did step up for a while there. Anyway, he pulled it together nicely in the 3rd. Now for the dangerous Adrian Mannarino .

Matador Says:

Mannarino dangerous? Come on!
He is the french version of Donald Young.
Murray against the samurai will be a blockbuster.

Thangs Says:

Wow, bencic beat Woz by 6-4 6-4. In their previous meeting, bencic was double bageled. she is only 18, must be smart in learning to beat the opponent who double bageled her.

Hippy Chick Says:

I love that picture of Rafa holding the Rafa doll so cute….

HQue Says:

Just saw Nick Kyrgios at our hotel in Indian Wells. The man is on crutches. Does not look good.

the DA Says:

@Matador – Sorry, there no sarcasm emoji. I was only (half) joking. Rotterdam & Dubai have made me edgier than usual ;)

@HQue – NK tweeted earlier that he’d torn a ligament or two and will be out for at least 4 weeks.

Margot Says:

@the DA
Edgy? Blimey, you’re telling me! However, I thought Andy looked pretty good, came forward a lot, chose his moments to be aggressive and his position on 2nd serve? Wow, was almost in the serving box. Can’t wait for Jonas to improve his already excellent volleying skills.
I see Nole will inevitably face a young Aussie. Split loyalty for Wog Boy? Tho he doesn’t like Atomic so perhaps not. Me, I like them both.

Michael Says:


You can never say anything for certain in Tennis. Strange things have happened and are likely to happen and it is this uncertainity which makes Sport so curious and interesting. Who would have ever imagined that Ljubicic would win Indian Wells by a giant killing spree felling Novak, Rafa and then Roddick or that Cilic would win the US Open ? So, there is always room for every possibility and we must give space for it. But, Roger is the overwhelming favourite over Seppi and he should win unless things go hay wire or Seppi once again produces the match of his life.

KatH Says:

Federer always seems to get the evening matches. Is this fair to other players? Is it even fair to Federer who, if he progresses, will likely have to play, at least one match, in the heat of the day?

Commiserations to David Ferrer (such a big heart) and congratulations to Andy M. who seemed to have found his second serve (hope he doesn’t lose it any time soon).

Nirmal Kumar Says:

KatH, if you look at the schedule, it would be same for Roger, Rafa and Novak.

Is it fair? It’s about money. They get people in more than others.

Hippy Chick Says:

Andy now has 495 tour wins,one short of Tim Henmams record,he will get to 500 soon,and i hope we get a thread celebrating this milestone?….

Great Britains DC team have decided to stage Julys QF with France on Grass with Queens club emerging as the most likely venue,i was reading on teletext this morning….

Hippy Chick Says:

Madmax yes in general i do find mens tennis more exciting,but i do also like to see our Brit gals doing well,and Watson and Robson when shes not injured seem the most promising,and the point i was making was Watson got a win against a very talented top 10 player yet barely a mention,yet when Andy lost to Coric we had a whole thread on the topic,also when a Brit loses the media cant wait to pounce,yet when we do well people generally dont want to know,as for this forum players other than the top 3 also barely get a look in either….

KatH Says:

@Nirmal Kumar

I did consider the scheduling could be income related, but as Americans make up most of the IW audience they’d surely like to see more of their own STARS in the evening matches.

I do also remember Roger being given the evening matches in other tournaments and losing when he had to play a semi-final/final in the heat of the day – hence I think the mix should be improved.

M Says:

HC, I understand your concern but I don’t think it’s always like that – I and several of my girls were talking about Heather and so happy for her as she was doing well and had already won a title this year.

(Until she went out to Carla S-N today, of course. :-/ )

jane Says:

margot, definitely not split loyalty. i think he had said the only young aussie he likes much is kokkinakis.

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