Berliner TageBlatt - Rublev, Swiatek power on at Indian Wells

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Rublev, Swiatek power on at Indian Wells
Rublev, Swiatek power on at Indian Wells / Foto: © AFP

Rublev, Swiatek power on at Indian Wells

Seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev pushed his ATP winning streak to 10 matches on Sunday, shaking off a slow start to beat Dominik Koepfer 7-5, 6-4 in his second-round opener at the Indian Wells WTA and ATP Masters.

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Rublev fell 4-2 down before breaking 51st-ranked Koepfer twice to pocket the first set.

He finished with 32 winners against the German and won 11 of 15 points at the net to put the match away.

But the second set was also close. After breaking for a 4-3 lead, Rublev promptly surrendered his serve, but he broke Koepfer to lead 5-4 and then survived three break points to close it out with a service winner.

Rublev, on the rise after titles in Marseille and Dubai this year, next faces Frances Tiafoe, who beat Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-4 in an all-American clash.

The action on Stadium Court was highlighted by a night session featuring third-seeded German Alexander Zverev, who was taking on American Tommy Paul two weeks after Zverev's outburst in Acapulco.

Zverev received a two-month suspended sentence after losing his temper and repeatedly hitting the umpire's chair with his racquet.

The evening opened with American Coco Gauff celebrating her 18th birthday with a third-round match against former world number one Simona Halep of Romania.

In other early matches, sixth-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini held on for a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Danish qualifier Holger Rune.

But ninth-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime bowed out, falling 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 to Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands.

Alexander Bublik, the 31st seed, sent former world number one Andy Murray packing with a 7-6 (11/9), 6-3 win over the three-time Grand Slam champion.

Bublik, coming off his first career ATP title at Montpellier in February, beat Murray for the first time in three career meetings.

Murray's run ended a round after he became the fourth active ATP player to reach 700 career match wins with a first-round victory over Taro Daniel.

- Raducanu ousted -

There was more disappointment for Murray's British compatriot Emma Raducanu, who was beaten in the third round by Croatian Petra Martic 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 7-5.

The 19-year-old Briton, who stormed to an unlikely US Open as a qualifier last year without dropping a set, served for the match at 5-4 in the third.

But the 13th seed couldn't muster a match point and lost the next three games, a string of forehand errors spelling the end of her challenge in a final loss of serve.

It's just the latest setback for Raducanu, who was ousted in the second round of the Australian Open in January.

She was the top seed at Guadalajara last month when a hip injury forced her to retire from her first-round match.

In seven tournaments since her US Open triumph, her best run was into the quarter-finals of the Transylvanian Open in October.

Martic, ranked 79th in the world, notched her first win over a top-20 player in more than two years.

"This victory means so much to me," Martic said.

"I really wanted it so bad. I'm just happy I stayed calm when I was not playing so good. Because I think it was up and down for both sides," added Martic, who next faces 28th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova, a 6-4, 6-7 (7/4) winner over Danka Kovinic.

Third-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland, the highest-ranked player left in the women’s field, struggled early but dominated late in a 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-1 victory over Denmark's Clara Tauson.

Swiatek, an Australian Open semi-finalist who was coming off a victory at Doha last month, won her seventh straight match.

F.Pavlenko--BTB