Indian Wells: Day-7. Fearless Tennis.

Lesia Tsurenko

Lesia Tsurenko

On Wednesday, the seeds began to fall at the 2015 BNP Paribas Open. Sharapova, Dimitrov, Bouchard – all done. Serena continues to suffer through slow starts, but her return is still alive after a three-set win over Sloane Stephens. On Stadium-2, the most compelling story of the tournament, Lesia Tsurenko scored her second top-10 win this week, after coming into Indian Wells just 2-5 on the season. (Click the photo for our interview after her win over Eugenie Bouchard). We finished after midnight on Stadium-2, but saw some amazing matches:

  • [12] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d H. Watson (GBR) 76(5) 36 61
  • J. Sock (USA) d [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 36 63 62
  • [6] M. Raonic (CAN) d A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 76(2) 64
  • [17] T. Robredo (ESP) d [11] G. Dimitrov (BUL) 64 16 75
  • [Q] L. Tsurenko (UKR) d [6] E. Bouchard (CAN) 67(5) 75 64
  • [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d M. Draganja (CRO) / J. Peers (AUS) 67(8) 64 10-7

From our post match interviews:

Carla Suarez Navarro, without question, is one of the fittest players on tour. I’ve said it before this year…she’s simply not afraid of the work. After retiring from the Antwerp Final with a neck injury, she went on a tear during the Middle-East swing. She just kept winning – in both singles and doubles. Carla reached the singles quarters and doubles final in Dubai, then the Doha SF after defeating her doubles partner Garbine Muguruza in the first round. In the end, she’d played 17 matches in 19 days. Here in Indian Wells, she’s putting the work in again. After an easy second round win over Monica Puig, she battled through two tie-break sets with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before taking it 6-0 in the third. Today against an inspired Heather Watson, she’d have to dig deep during the heat of the day and go three again. After the match, Carla acknowledged that the hard-work she puts-in every day gives her the edge against many of her opponents during extended matches, and she couldn’t be happier with the progress she’s enjoyed this year. It doesn’t get any easier from here. NEXT: Simona Halep (She’s won two titles and has only lost two matches this year – Ekaterina Makarova in the Australian Open QF and Garbine Muguruza in Fed Cup)

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

After his win today over Roberto Bautista Agut, Jack Sock again talked about his off-season, the hip-surgery, and most significantly, nearly losing his brother to a freak and sudden illness. He feels like he’s not playing for himself anymore, which has completely “freed-up” his head on court. He’s patient in extended rallies, then agressive when opportunities open up in points. It’s fun to watch, especially knowing that this is his first event of 2015. He’s only had one tentative set here in Indian Wells – the first against Yen-Hsun Lu in round-1. He’ll need every ounce of confidence in the Round of 16, with his first career shot at one of the greatest players of all time. NEXT: Roger Federer

Milos Raonic, as usual, is serving bombs here the desert. He played potentially the best match of his year today against Alexandr Dolgopolov, winning in straights. After the match, Milos admitted that this was a rematch he’d been looking forward since last year (Dolgopolov took him out in the 2014 Indian Wells QF). I asked Milos about his coach, Ivan Ljubicic – who won the title here just five years ago: “How often does he remind you of that?” Milos said if Ivan doesn’t, someone on his team reminds him daily. We also discussed something Milos posted to Instagram last week from Mohammed Ali: “Champions have to have the skill and the will, but the will has to be stronger than the skill.” Raonic says the phrase has become a daily motivator for him in his pursuit to be the best athlete he can possibly be. NEXT: Tommy Robredo

Tommy Robredo scored the biggest win of his year over World #11 Grigor Dimitrov as the sun set on the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. After the match, he said he’d visit the physio and go through his regular post-match routine, then head upstairs in Stadium-2 and enjoy a late-night steak “on Spanish time.” Tommy looked solid out of the gate against Grigor, taking the first set 6-4. Mentally in the second, Robredo disappeared as Dimitrov elevated his game, and they settled-in for the decider. It truly felt like the match could go either way, but Robredo landed the late break to serve it out. NEXT: Milos Raonic (Tommy’s 0-2 versus Milos – they last played on clay in Monte Carlo last Spring)

Lesia Tsurenko

VIDEO: Lesia Tsurenko reacts to the win...

Lesia Tsurenko has played more tennis than anyone else left in the draw here at the BNP Paribas Open. Tonight’s sloppy win over Eugenie Bouchard was her sixth match of the tournament. She’s played two qualifying matches, took-out Anika Beck in two, upset World #10 Andrea Petkovic in three, downed Alize Cornet in three, and after rolling her ankle in the first set, took-out World #7 Eugenie Bouchard in another 3-setter. Remarkable. Fearless. She was 2-5 in main-draw play coming into Indian Wells, falling in the second-rounds of Acapulco and Monterrey. Here – she’s managed two top-10 wins in just a few days. After the match, she was near-speechless…and absolutely adorable. (Click the image for video of our conversation) NEXT: Jelena Jankovic

Bob and Mike Bryan took the court after 11:00 here on Stadium-2, facing two very dangerous opponents. Marin Draganja has already won two titles this year in Marseille and Zagreb (with Henri Kontinen). His partner, John Peers, won the Brisbane title week-one (with Jamie Murray) and reached the Rotterdam Final last month. It was no surprise that we went to a match tie-break. Bob and Mike would win the thriller 10-7 after midnight. Several hundred fans stayed late for the show, and the boys delivered. NEXT: Wimbledon Champions Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil (Bob and Mike already avenged the Wimbledon loss in Cincinnati over the Summer – should be a fun match on Stadium Court Friday)

ATP. Indian Wells 2015. Updated Singles Draw.

ATP. Indian Wells 2015. Updated Doubles Draw.

WTA. Indian Wells 2015. Updated Singles Draw.

WTA. Indian Wells 2015. Updated Doubles Draw.

Indian Wells. Wednesday. Day-8. Order of Play.

FULL RESULTS: Indian Wells 2015. Tuesday. Day-7.

ATP Singles Third Round
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d [30] A. Seppi (ITA) 63 64
[3] R. Nadal (ESP) d D. Young (USA) 64 62
[6] M. Raonic (CAN) d A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 76(2) 64
[9] T. Berdych (CZE) d S. Johnson (USA) 64 62
[17] T. Robredo (ESP) d [11] G. Dimitrov (BUL) 64 16 75
[13] G. Simon (FRA) d [Q] M. Berrer (GER) 62 75
J. Sock (USA) d [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 36 63 62
[27] L. Rosol (CZE) d R. Haase (NED) 64 67(4) 76(3)

ATP Doubles Quaterfinals
[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d D. Ferrer (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) 75 36 10-7

ATP Doubles Second Round
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d M. Draganja (CRO) / J. Peers (AUS) 67(8) 64 10-7
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d A. Begemann (GER) / E. Gulbis (LAT) 76(4) 62
M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS) / A. Murray (GBR) 61 64

WTA Singles Round of 16
[1] [WC] S. Williams (USA) d S. Stephens (USA) 67(3) 62 62
[15] F. Pennetta (ITA) d [2] M. Sharapova (RUS) 36 63 62
[3] S. Halep (ROU) d [14] K. Pliskova (CZE) 64 64
[Q] L. Tsurenko (UKR) d [6] E. Bouchard (CAN) 67(5) 75 64
[12] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d H. Watson (GBR) 76(5) 36 61
[18] J. Jankovic (SRB) d [31] B. Bencic (SUI) 63 36 63
[27] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [23] E. Svitolina (UKR) 46 61 61
[24] S. Lisicki (GER) d [25] C. Garcia (FRA) 64 64

WTA Doubles Quarterfinals
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d [WC] D. Hantuchova (SVK) / K. Knapp (ITA) 64 62
L. Raymond (USA) / S. Stosur (AUS) d [PR] S. Peer (ISR) / V. Zvonareva (RUS) 62 61