Indian Wells |Murray and Evans outplayed in Tennis Paradise

Of the four strong British contingent competing at the 2024 BNP Paribas Open only Cameron Norrie remains in the men’s singles draw following losses inflicted on Dan Evans and Andy Murray in the last 48 hours, while Jack Draper exited on Tuesday. Norrie, the British No.1 and 28th seed having received as first round bye at the first Masters 1000 level event of the season, is scheduled to play Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on Saturday.

He had a lot of chances in the first set and I was lucky to win. Had I lost it, it would have been really, really tough, Andrey Rublev

The season for Evans and Murray continue on their respective roller-coaster rides.

Evans, the word No.45 having recently slipped to No3 in the national rankings, lost to Roman Safiullin in his opening match leaving him with just two wins from six tournaments this year.

He battled hard against the Russian world ranked 42, but Safiullin was able to pull out a 6-1 5-7 6-2 win and avenge his Los Cabos defeat to the Brit, two weeks ago.

Dan Evans in action at Indian Wells

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Safiullin broke serve twice to lead 5-0, and although Evans rallied well in the second, the Russian had two more breaks in the deciding set.

His victory will see him face American Sebastian Korda in the second round.

Meanwhile Murray, a former Indian Wells champion, started the event well with a strong performance to clear the first round but he was unable to raise his game when facing the world No.5 Andrey Rublev.

The 36-year-old former world No.1, kept up with the Russian during the first set before losing the tie when he ran out of steam.

Rublev eventually swept past Murray 7-6(3) 6-1 after one-hour, 48-minutes.

The fifth seed fought off four set points and six break points in the first set before cruising to victory and take a 2-1 lead in their personal head-to-head encounters.

Andrey Rublev celebrates his latest win

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

“He had a lot of chances in the first set and I was lucky to win. Had I lost it, it would have been really, really tough,” Rublev admitted. “After the first set I felt more confident and I knew that it would be even tougher for Andy to keep up his consistency.”

A 2022 semi-finalist in Indian Wells, Rublev has reached the quarter-finals or better of all five previous tournaments he has played this year, a run that includes his 15th title in Hong Kong and he now faces Jiri Lehecka in the third round, the Czech having taken out the American wildcard Brandon Nakashima 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Murray’s latest loss means he has now won three matches in seven events for this season and inevitably, fuels speculation as to his retirement but the three time grand slam champion and holder of two Olympic Gold Medals, still wants to try and qualify for the Olympics in Paris this summer though many believe he will draw the curtain on his career at this year’s Wimbledon.

Another former three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka also suffered a loss, defeated 7-6(3) 4-6 6-2 by the Czech Tomas Machac

Aussie Open champion Jannik Sinner cruised past Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis with a 6-3 6-0 win as the 22-year-old Italian targets another title.

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated French qualifier, Constant Lestienne, 6-4 6-1 while Germany’s Alexander Zverev made his way into the third round with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Australia’s Christopher O’Connell.

Gael Monfils will face number eight seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland after the French veteran breezed past Australia’s Max Purcell 6-1 6-2.



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