Rafael Nadal’s bid for the fourth BNP Paribas Open title came to a sudden end as he was shocked by Aleksandr Dolgopolov who recorded his first victory over the top seed Spaniard in six meetings. The third-round match went under way by both of the contestants dropping their serves twice by 2-2. The crucial moment of the opener occurred in the eighth game when the Ukrainian seized his third break of the set and served it out after saving a couple of break back points. The level of serving improved significantly in the set number two with Rafa creating and converting the single break point in that part of the game to eventually make it one set each. However, Dolgopolov stayed consistent in the decider and prevented the favorite to dictate the terms. Nadal found himself on the break of defeat at 5-3 when his opponent served for the match, yet he pulled off a break to love to make the fight for the fourth round ticket even more dramatic. The all-deciding tie-break has proved to be as tight as the rest of the encounter with the resilient Ukrainian battling back from 4-2* to ultimately claim an unexpected 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) win. Next up for Dolgopolov is 13th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini.
“At the end, when you are on the limit, this thing happen,” said Nadal. “You can lose. I lost today. Congratulate him. He played I think better than me. That’s it. Life continues. Gonna keep working hard to try to be ready for Miami.”
Stanislas Wawrinka’s marvelous winning streak in 2014 continued today as he brushed his third-round challenger Andreas Seppi off the Indian Wells court after no more than forty-nine minutes of play. The current Swiss number one converted three out of eight break points in the opening set to deliver the helpless Italian a bagel twenty minutes into the match. 29th-seeded Seppi kept struggling in the following set with the reigning Australian Open champion still pulling all the strings and clinching another couple of breaks to land a spot in the last 16 with an express 6-0, 6-2 triumph. He will now square off against 17th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
“Today was an amazing match,” Wawrinka stated. “Can’t complain. Playing that great, it’s good. That level, it depends a little bit who you play, but I’m really, really happy with my match today. I’m moving really well, and every time I can play aggressive it makes a difference.”