Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Delbonis shocks Murray at Indian Wells

Second-seeded Andy Murray said he has never played
his best at Indian Wells. File photo by Paul Bauman
   Difficult conditions, a tricky opponent and perhaps physical and mental fatigue were too much for Andy Murray to overcome on Monday.
   Seeded second in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Murray lost to Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3) in the third round during the day session in 16,100-seat Stadium 1.
   Murray had 44 unforced errors, 25 winners and no aces in the 2-hour, 46-minute match. Still, he led 4-2 in the third set and 2-0 in the tiebreaker before Delbonis won seven of the last eight points.   
   “The conditions here, I have just struggled with throughout my career," Murray, citing wind and high-bouncing balls, told reporters. "I have never really felt that I played my best tennis here."
   Murray has had mixed results at Indian Wells. He has reached one final (2009), two semifinals (2007 and last year) and two quarterfinals (2010 and 2013). But he also has lost in the second round three times (2006 in his first appearance, 2011 and 2012) in addition to his early exit this year.
   Delbonis, a 6-foot-3 (1.91-meter) left-hander, is ranked 53rd. He defeated Roger Federer on clay in the 2013 Hamburg semifinals in their only meeting. 
   Murray has had an emotional past few weeks. In his first event since becoming a father on Feb. 7, he led defending champion Great Britain to a 3-1 victory over Kei Nishikori and Japan in Birmingham, England, on March 4-6 in the first round of the Davis Cup.
   Delbonis will play No. 13 seed Gael Monfils of France on Wednesday for a quarterfinal berth.
   In the second round of men's doubles, third-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan coasted past Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain and Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-2, 6-2. The Bryan twins, who starred at Stanford in the late 1990s, won the Indian Wells title in 2013 and 2014.
   Meanwhile, Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia ousted No. 7 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, and No. 18 Karolina Pliskova whipped No. 14 Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 champion and 2009 runner-up at Indian Wells, 6-2, 6-0 in 49 minutes.
   Pliskova reached the final of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in August, losing to Angelique Kerber of Germany. Kerber stunned Serena Williams in the Australian Open in January for her first Grand Slam title.
   Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe knocked off No. 2 seeds Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan of Taiwan 7-6 (3), 6-3 to reach the doubles quarterfinals. 

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