Oct 9 (Reuters) – Diego Schwartzman saved two match points to survive American qualifier Maxime Cressy 6-2 3-6 7-5 on Saturday, advancing to the third round of Indian Wells.
The Argentine recovered from a 15-40 deficit in the 10th game of the third set to break Cressy’s serve, putting up just two double faults compared to 14 from his competitor across the two-hour and 38-minute thriller.
Briton’s Daniel Evans outlasted Japan’s Kei Nishikori 4-6 6-3 6-4, winning 80% of his first-serve points in a strong defensive effort that saw him save 10 break points.
“It was satisfying how I dealt with a bit of adversity after the first set,” said Evans, who claimed his maiden ATP title at Murray River Open in February. “It was nice to come through in a good, tough match.”
It was largely business as usual at the California tournament, where number one seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova defeated Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech 7-5 6-2and eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz broke down the stubborn resistance of Alexei Popyrin to secure a 6-1 7-5 win under warm, dry conditions.
Reilly Opelka fired off 11 aces in a 7-5 6-3 win over Japan’s Taro Daniel as he advanced to the third round.
The 24-year-old American, who enjoyed his best Grand Slam showing last month when he reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open, won more than 90% of his first-serve points and never faced a break point as he made light work of Daniel.
Australian Ajla Tomljanovic secured the sole upset of the early matches, recovering from a rocky second set to send fifth seed Garbine Muguruza packing 6-3 1-6 6-3.
“I was really looking forward to playing Garbine because I did lose last couple of times but I did try to focus on that one time I beat her and channel that energy, so I was really happy I got through today,” Tomljanovic said in a post-match interview.
Canadian Vasek Pospisil was forced to retire in the first set against compatriot Denis Shapovalov, seeded ninth at the tournament after reaching the Wimbledon semifinal earlier this year, and Norwegian sixth seed Casper Ruud made quick work of Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1 6-2.
Newly minted U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev will be in action later on Saturday against Mackenzie McDonald, while defending women’s champion Bianca Andreescu will play American Alison Riske.
Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Chris Reese
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