Indian Wells: Rafa survives Stepanek test

After winning his 62nd career title in Rio de Janeiro, Rafael Nadal is back in Indian Wells to defend his BNP Paribas Open title; and Rafa was put to the test in his 2014 debut thanks to the tricky Radek Stepanek, who always relishes the role of spoiler. Much to the surprise of fans in Stadium-1, Radek jumped-out to an early lead and took the first set 6-2. Uncharacteristically inconsistent on serve, Rafa had to grind for the win – taking the second set 6-4, and pulling out a thrilling, come-from-behind third set 7-5 win. Next up for the 3-time BNP Paribas Open Champion: Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Stadium-2 fills-up for Stan Wawrinka
Stadium-2 fills-up for Stan Wawrinka

Day-6 saw convincing wins in all seven matches that found their way to the brand new Stadium-2:

  • [11] T Haas (GER) def. J Chardy (FRA) 6-3 6-4
  • [17] K Anderson (RSA) def. L Hewitt (AUS) 7-6(5) 6-4
  • [16] S Stosur (AUS) def. F Schiavone (ITA) 6-2 6-3
  • [3] S Wawrinka (SUI) def. I Karlovic (CRO) 6-3 7-5
  • [19] K Nishikori (JPN) def. S Giraldo (COL) 6-1 6-3
  • [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) def. S Lipsky (USA) / F Mayer (GER) 6-1 6-3
  • E Gulbis (LAT) / M Raonic (CAN) def. [WC] N Djokovic (SRB) / F Krajinovic (SRB) 7-6(3) 6-1

After his win, Tommy Haas talked about how thankful he is to have remained injury-free over the past two-years; yet even with the new team in the box, the focus is still to remain healthy and continually improve one match at a time. He’s #12 in the world right now…at 35-years-old. A finalist this year in Zagreb, he’s on the hunt for his second career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in his 14th appearance here in Indian Wells.

At 33-years-old, Lleyton Hewitt remains one of the hardest players to put-away on the ATP World Tour. He fought-off three match points before falling to Kevin Anderson – who’s had a fantastic two weeks coming into the tournament. A finalist in both Delray Beach and Acapulco, Kevin also picked-up his first career doubles title last weekend in Mexico with partner Mattew Ebden.

After a 1st-round exit in Dubai, Samantha Stosur was ready to get to work against a tough opponent on Saturday. Back and forth over their past six matches, she and Francesca Schiavone have typically battled. Yesterday, Sam rolled over the struggling Italian, scoring her 8th win in their 12-meetings. Expect a tougher fight from another Italian in the 3rd-Round, as Sam will face Flavia Pennetta. It’ll be their 5th career meeting. Sam is 0-4 against her, most recently losing a tough 3-setter against Flavia in a First Round Fed Cup World Group Tie back in 2011.

Class. Bob and Mike Bryan with Team Bryan
Class. Bob and Mike Bryan with Team Bryan

Stanislas Wawrinka made his second appearance on the brand new Stadium-2, this time against the hard-serving Ivo Karlovic. Despite not playing much since winning his first Grand Slam title in January at the Australian Open, Stan hadn’t lost a step, winning easily in two-sets. After the match, Stan promised that he hadn’t forgotten how to play tennis over the past month and is in top-form coming into this year’s tournament. He’s made the Indian Wells Quarterfinals twice before, and when I asked if he knew who he’d likely face should he reach the Quaraterfinals this year, he replied with a wry smile and claimed ignorance: “No, I never pay attention to the draw.” Right. Stan could see his doubles partner Roger Federer if he makes it past the 4th-Round. In their 14 matches, Stan has won once.

So much for that oblique injury that forced Kei Nishikori to retire from his 2nd-Round match with Marin Cilic in Delray Beach. He only dropped 4-games in his match with Santiago Giraldo, and after the match said “the body feels 100%.” With a title in Memphis, 4th-Round run in Melbourne and Semifinal appearance in Brisbane – Kei’s playing solid tennis under the tutelage of Michael Chang.

While Rafa battled Stepanek on Stadium-1, we wrapped Day-6 with two entertaining Men’s Doubles matches on Stadium-2. Bob and Mike Bryan delivered an easy 1st-Round win, much to the delight of “Team Bryan” that covered a large swath of General Admission seating on the upper level. After the match, the twins again demonstrated their class and gratitude by signing nearly everything shoved in their face and bringing the entire Team Bryan crew onto the court for a photo. For the record, Mike said striving for that 100th tour win would bring serious satisfaction to an already unparalleled career: “It’s a nice, even, big number.” After their win in Delray Beach, the brothers own 94 titles together.

After their win over Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic, Ernests Gulbis and Milos Raonic placed orders at Nobu and Piero’s Pizza Vino from the court. Thanks to their hard-serving, the pair owned their Serbian opponents – to the point where Novak tried returning Raonic’s serve from the court’s back wall in the final game. Afterwards, Ernests said he was happy with the win but “pissed” at his partner. They had a wager before the match to see who could deliver the most aces. Going into the final service game, Gulbis was up 4-3. Raonic then pounded 3-aces in the winning game. Ernests bought dinner.
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Full results of 2nd-Round play on the top-half of the Men’s Singles draw…

  • [1] R Nadal (ESP) def. R Stepanek (CZE) 2-6 6-4 7-5
  • [3] S Wawrinka (SUI) def. I Karlovic (CRO) 6-3 7-5
  • [5] A Murray (GBR) def. L Rosol (CZE) 4-6 6-3 6-2
  • [7] R Federer (SUI) def. [Q] P Mathieu (FRA) 6-2 7-6(5)
  • [10] M Raonic (CAN) def. E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(2)
  • [11] T Haas (GER) def. J Chardy (FRA) 6-3 6-4
  • [13] F Fognini (ITA) def. [WC] R Harrison (USA) 5-7 6-1 6-4
  • [17] K Anderson (RSA) def. L Hewitt (AUS) 7-6(5) 6-4
  • A Falla (COL) def. [18] J Janowicz (POL) 6-3 2-6 7-6(5)
  • [19] K Nishikori (JPN) def. S Giraldo (COL) 6-1 6-3
  • [23] G Monfils (FRA) def. S Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-2 6-4
  • [27] D Tursunov (RUS) def. J Monaco (ARG) 7-6(4) 6-4
  • [28] A Dolgopolov (UKR) def. T Smyczek (USA) 7-6(3) 6-4
  • [29] A Seppi (ITA) def. S Querrey (USA) 4-6 7-6(3) 6-3
  • J Vesely (CZE) def. [32] P Andujar (ESP) 6-1 2-6 6-1
  • [LL] E Donskoy (RUS) def. M Russell (USA) 6-4 6-3

Full results of 1st-Round play from the Men’s Doubles draw…

  • [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) def. S Lipsky (USA) / F Mayer (GER) 6-1 6-3
  • [2] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) def. E Butorac (USA) / R Klaasen (RSA) 2-6 7-6(4) 10-6
  • [7] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) def. M Cilic (CRO) / J Del Potro (ARG) 4-6 6-3 10-8
  • J Benneteau (FRA) / E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) def. J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) 6-3 4-6 10-5
  • N Mahut (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) def. K Anderson (RSA) / R Haase (NED) 7-5 7-6(3)
  • E Gulbis (LAT) / M Raonic (CAN) def. [WC] N Djokovic (SRB) / F Krajinovic (SRB) 7-6(3) 6-1
  • [WC] J Erlich (ISR) / R Gasquet (FRA) def. M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 4-6 7-5 11-9


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Full results of 2nd-Round play from the top-half of the Ladies Singles draw…

  • [1] N Li (CHN) def. J Zheng (CHN) 61 75
  • [4] M Sharapova (RUS) def. J Goerges (GER) 6-1 6-4
  • M Torro-Flor (ESP) def. [5] A Kerber (GER) 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4
  • [8] P Kvitova (CZE) def. [WC] C Vandeweghe (USA) 6-1 6-3
  • [11] A Ivanovic (SRB) def. E Svitolina (UKR) 4-6 7-5 7-6(1)
  • [12] D Cibulkova (SVK) def. [WC] D Vekic (CRO) 6-3 6-2
  • A Wozniak (CAN) def. [15] S Lisicki (GER) 7-5 1-6 7-6(5)
  • [16] S Stosur (AUS) def. F Schiavone (ITA) 6-2 6-3
  • [17] S Stephens (USA) def. A Tomljanovic (CRO) 6-4 6-0
  • [20] F Pennetta (ITA) def. [WC] T Townsend (USA) 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3
  • [21] A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) def. C Garcia (FRA) 6-4 7-5
  • [23] E Makarova (RUS) def. M Niculescu (ROU) 5-7 7-6(3) 6-3
  • [Q] C Giorgi (ITA) def. [25] S Cirstea (ROU) 7-6(3) 6-3
  • [27] S Kuznetsova (RUS) def. [Q] B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 6-3 6-3
  • K Pliskova (CZE) def. [28] K Zakopalova (CZE) 7-5 6-2
  • A Kleybanova (RUS) def. [32] G Muguruza (ESP) 6-3 6-2

Full results of 2nd-Round play from the Ladies Doubles draw…

  • [5] C Black (ZIM) / S Mirza (IND) def. R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) 6-3 6-4
  • [7] A Barty (AUS) / C Dellacqua (AUS) def. D Hantuchova (SVK) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) 6-1 6-3


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Here’s what to expect today, on Day-7 of the BNP Paribas Open 2014: 2nd-Round play on the bottom-half of the ATP World Tour draw, 3rd-Round play on the bottom half of the WTA draw; plus the four remaining 1st-Round Men’s Doubles matches, a 2nd-Round Doubles match with Andy Murray and Jonathan Marray vs. Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares, and four Women’s Doubles 2nd-Round matches. On Stadium-2, we’ll get a chance to see recent Doha winner Simona Halep, Acapulco winner Grigor Dimitrov, and two matches featuring John Isner – his 2nd-Round Singles match vs. Nicolay Davydenko and his 1st-Round Doubles match with partner Sam Querrey (who was eliminated from the singles draw yesterday by Andreas Seppi).

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – R Bautista Agut (ESP) vs [4] T Berdych (CZE)
WTA – [Q] Y Shvedova (KAZ) vs [10] C Wozniacki (DEN)
ATP – [6] J Del Potro (ARG) vs F Lopez (ESP)
ATP – J Benneteau (FRA) vs [9] J Tsonga (FRA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – V Hanescu (ROU) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA – [7] J Jankovic (SRB) vs [31] M Rybarikova (SVK)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [6] S Halep (ROU) vs [26] L Safarova (CZE)
ATP – N Davydenko (RUS) vs [12] J Isner (USA)
ATP – [8] R Gasquet (FRA) vs T Gabashvili (RUS)
WTA – A Beck (GER) vs [2] A Radwanska (POL)
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP – [15] G Dimitrov (BUL) vs R Haase (NED)
ATP – J Isner (USA) / S Querrey (USA) vs J Chardy (FRA) / G Simon (FRA)

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
ATP – [Q] P Lorenzi (ITA) vs [24] M Cilic (CRO)
ATP – [22] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs Y Lu (TPE)
WTA – [18] E Bouchard (CAN) vs [9] S Errani (ITA)
ATP – J Sousa (POR) vs [20] E Gulbis (LAT)
ATP – H Zeballos (ARG) vs [30] F Verdasco (ESP)

STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – [14] C Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs [22] A Cornet (FRA)
Not Before 12:30 pm
WTA – [13] R Vinci (ITA) vs [Q] C Dellacqua (AUS)
WTA – V Lepchenko (USA) vs L Davis (USA)
ATP – [26] F Mayer (GER) vs J Nieminen (FIN)
ATP – F Lopez (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) vs [8] L Kubot (POL) / R Lindstedt (SWE)

STADIUM 5 start 11:00 am
ATP – J Rojer (NED) / H Tecau (ROU) vs [PR] C Fleming (GBR) / R Hutchins (GBR)
ATP – J Marray (GBR) / A Murray (GBR) vs [2] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)
ATP – [21] G Simon (FRA) vs [Q] D Thiem (AUT)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [WC] S Kuznetsova (RUS) / S Stosur (AUS) vs A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ)
ATP – J Janowicz (POL) / P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [4] L Paes (IND) / R Stepanek (CZE)

STADIUM 6 start 12:00 noon
ATP – M Kukushkin (KAZ) vs [25] V Pospisil (CAN)
WTA – [1] S Hsieh (TPE) / S Peng (CHN) vs [PR] A Kleybanova (RUS) / A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
WTA – K Mladenovic (FRA) / F Pennetta (ITA) vs K Date-Krumm (JPN) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)

STADIUM 9 start 12:00 noon
ATP – [31] I Dodig (CRO) vs A Gonzalez (COL)
ATP – [16] T Robredo (ESP) vs M Matosevic (AUS)
WTA – J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER) vs [2] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS)