Del Potro Wins At Indian Wells, Sets Up Berdych Showdown; Tiafoe Beats Fritz In Next Gen Matchup
by Staff | March 11th, 2016, 9:07 am

Juan Martin del Potro continued his comeback at Indian Wells Thursday night by thumping American qualifier Tim Smyzcek 6-4, 6-0. A finalist in his last appearance in 2013, del Potro won the last seven games of the match.

“I think I played well, but I am so happy to be playing tennis again,” said del Potro. “I missed the sport a lot, suffering at home as I tried to fix my wrist. It’s great to be at this big tournament, playing on Centre Court and being around the top guys. It’s very positive just to be here. I think I surprised myself with my level. I didn’t expect to play that well tonight. I have worked hard to be competitive.”

Del Potro will now meet Tomas Berdych Saturday in the second round. He leads the Czech 4-3 in their head-to-head.

In the much-anticipated “Next Gen” matchup, Frances Tiafoe broke late then held on to serve it out and beat friend and fellow 18-year-old Taylor Fritz 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

“Winning a match in Indian Wells is huge,” said Tiafoe, the youngest player in the Top 200. “It’s a dream to play on this court, there’s so many great matches played on that court. To play a friend early, as two wild cards, it was unbelievable.”

Fritz had high hopes after a breakout February, felt he could have had a better day.

“Usually I handle pressure really well, but I definitely wanted to beat him badly because I never beat him in the juniors,” said Fritz. “It’s been a while and I’ve been doing so well and I thought this was my time to take it. Like I said, I didn’t play at the level I usually would play.”

Another teen, Borna Coric, also advanced.

Other winners included Nicolas Mahut, Robin Haase, Ryan Harrison and Inigo Cervantes who won an all-Spanish battle over Nicolas Almagro 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

Today, more teens take the court led by Alex Zverev and Jared Donaldson, and veterans Fernando Verdasco, Ernests Gulbis and Juan Monaco are in action.

Andy Murray will be in doubles with Colin Fleming against the big-serving tandem of John Isner and Milos Raonic.

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – I. Dodig (CRO) vs A. Zverev (GER)
ATP – [WC] J. Donaldson (USA) vs V. Pospisil (CAN)
WTA – [10] V. Williams (USA) vs [Q] K. Nara (JPN)
WTA – V. King (USA) vs [5] S. Halep (ROU)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [Q] L. Siegemund (GER)
Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP – D. Young (USA) vs A. Seppi (ITA)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – D. Kovinic (MNE) vs [8] P. Kvitova (CZE)
ATP – J. Isner (USA) / M. Raonic (CAN) vs C. Fleming (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR)
ATP – E. Gulbis (LAT) vs G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
ATP – D. Istomin (UZB) vs D. Kudla (USA)
Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – [Q] M. Berrer (GER) vs J. Monaco (ARG)

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Americans Harrison, Opelka, Tiafoe Fall At Indian Wells; Nadal-Tomic Doubles, Fritz Friday
Fritz Beats Querrey For First Title In Eastbourne
Shapovalov Beats Fritz, Tiafoe-Chung Suspended In Delray; Thiem Tamed In Rio
Frances Tiafoe Beats Stefan Kozlov In 5 Sets To Take Kalamazoo 18s, Wins US Open Wildcard

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12 Comments for Del Potro Wins At Indian Wells, Sets Up Berdych Showdown; Tiafoe Beats Fritz In Next Gen Matchup

chrisford1 Says:

So happy JMP is back with a win to start off, even if it was at the expense of an American player I like. ( Tim Smyzcek ).

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Thrilled that JMDP got this win. I was happy to see he got a qualifier, but Smyzcek is a legit pro, so this was a big win.

You don’t expect an Indian Wells early round match to be a field-changer, but IF JMDP BEATS BERDYCH….

He looks so old! My memories of him must be stuck in 2009. Come on Juan Martin!

SG1 Says:

Tennis has missed JMDP. While he looks older, he is tennis young which may help him to reap some benefits at the end of the year. I really hope he climbs back into the fray and re-establishes himself firmly in the top 10 for the next 3 to 4 years. He’s too talented to end up with one slam.

Let’s hope there aren’t anymore health problems for him. He’s been given a raw deal in this area. It’s now time for a long streak of good health and good luck.

Van Persie Says:

Looking forward now for the future nr.1 in ATP (after Nole will retire, of course) in action. :)
Come on, Sascha Zverev!

Van Persie Says:

Wow, he plays unbelievable…Jalep, hope you watch the match ;)

Dennis Says:

Del Potro played well (though the backhand is still not the weapon it will need to be if he is going to get back to the top), but I don’t quite get the comments about beating Smyczek being a big win. Smyczek is 116 in the world, the lowest ranked player Del Potro has faced so far in his comeback. He should have crushed Smyczek, and he did. Berdych though, will be a good test of where Del Potro’s game really is right now. If he beats Berdych, that will be a fantastic sign that he can indeed get back to the top of the game.

Van Persie Says:

Well done, Sascha ;)

jalep Says:

Just got home and started watching, Van Persie.

Come on, Sascha – he’s serving ahead in the decider. I picked Dodig to win. Hope I’m wrong.

Sascha. Love his serve. 😎

Tennis Channel is showing the Kvitova match mostly with some Sascha and updates…damm. Two important matches finishing at the same time.

Time to break, and he has a bp. He breaks! Sascha will serve for the match. 5-4

I have only the score. Sash is having a wobbly service game, it appears. Match point. GSM. Sascha get’s it! Wow, solid.

Sascha v Dimitrov. I’ll be cheering for Sascha, Van Persie!

Van Persie Says:

Hehe, Jalep. We will see him in the 2 round ;)

jalep Says:

Van Persie. I’ll pick Grigor and hope our guy wins :)

That was the only ATP match I was interested in today. Going to go run errands but will try to get back for Simona’s match later.

Hope you are having fun, RZ!

Van Persie Says:

Jalep, I wil go to bed now. Hope Simona will make it today. Would be glad to see her in 3 Round :)

Green Lady Says:

Too much Sharapova doping talk,thankfully a tennis thread,JMDP v Berdych should be a great match today,a win against a top 10 player will be a big statement for Delpo,but im still not of the impression hes bound for big things anymore,i think with too much time off tour and so many injuries the ships now sailed,sorry to say,and sorry to be negative….

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