Sunday Preview: Murray Meets Alcaraz; Tsitsipas & Zverev Begin Indian Wells Campaign
An experienced champion and one of the biggest emerging talents in the game will meet on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open when former World No. 1 Andy Murray takes on #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in the second round in Indian Wells.
Murray has endured an eventful few days since arriving in California both on and off the court. Off it, the 34-year-old lost his wedding ring and shoes before being reunited with both, while on court he cruised past Adrian Mannarino to set up a first ATP Head2Head meeting with Alcaraz.
The Scot will have to be fully focused against the 18-year-old, who is the 30th seed at the ATP Masters 1000 event, if he is to advance. Alcaraz is making his debut in Indian Wells and the last time the tournament took place in March 2019, he was outside the Top 600 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.
Since then, the Spaniard has climbed to a career-high No. 38, captured his first tour-level title in Umag and reached the quarter-finals at the US Open, upsetting World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas at Flushing Meadows. Alcaraz will face Murray second on Stadium 2.
BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) October 9, 2021
In a packed day of action, Germany’s Alexander Zverev and second seed Tsitsipas will begin their campaigns as they target their third and second Masters 1000 trophies of the season, respectively.
Zverev, who has triumphed at this level in Madrid and Cincinnati this year, faces a tough test in the shape of #NextGenATP American Jenson Brooksby in what will be their first ATP Head2Head meeting.
Speaking ahead of his opening match, Zverev said: “I think the second part of the season for me has been incredible so far. I've only lost one match so far [and] I've won 17, so it is going well. I think everybody is happy to be back here. This is a tournament that everybody enjoys even though I didn't have a lot of success here yet. I'm hoping to change that this year. I'm hoping to be able to find my rhythm, find my form here, we'll see how the tournament goes.”
Having reached the fourth round at the US Open last month, Brooksby overcame Turkey’s Cem Ilkel as he returned to court for the first time since that run. The 20-year-old will be aiming to finish the season strongly as he bids to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, to be played 9-13 November. Brooksby will face Zverev on Stadium 1.
FOLLOW THIS WEEK'S ACTION
Tsitsipas will follow Zverev onto the same court, playing Spaniard Pedro Martinez, not before 6 p.m. The second seed clinched his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo in April and arrives in Indian Wells having helped guide Team Europe to a fourth consecutive victory against Team World at the Laver Cup. It will be the second time the Greek, who is making his third appearance at the BNP Paribas Open, has faced the World No. 59, with Tsitsipas leading Martinez 1-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.
Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini, #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner and 21-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime are also all playing on Sunday. They will be aiming for deep runs in Indian Wells as they look to improve their bid to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held from 14-21 November at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.
Berrettini, currently sixth in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin (3,955 points), is close to securing his spot at the season finale on home soil. The Italian will face Chile qualifier Alejandro Tabilo in the second round on Stadium 2.
BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) October 10, 2021
Further back in the Race, Sinner, who is 10th (2,505), is making his debut in California and plays Australian John Millman on Stadium 3 in his first match since he won his fourth tour-level title in Sofia. Auger-Aliassime is in 11th place (2,320) and takes on Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Stadium 3. The Canadian leads Ramos-Vinolas 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head Series, but they have not met since October 2019.
VIEW SCHEDULE - SUNDAY, 10 OCTOBER
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
WTA -  V. Kudermetova (RUS) vs  I. Swiatek (POL)
WTA -  S. Cirstea (ROU) vs  E. Svitolina (UKR)
ATP - J. Brooksby (USA) vs  A. Zverev (GER)
ATP - Not Before 6:00 pm - P. Martinez (ESP) vs  S. Tsitsipas (GRE)
WTA - Not Before 8:00 PM -  L. Fernandez (CAN) vs  A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
ATP -  M. Berrettini (ITA) vs [Q] A. Tabilo (CHI)
ATP -  C. Alcaraz (ESP) vs [WC] A. Murray (GBR)
WTA - Not Before 3:00 PM - A. Sasnovich (BLR) vs  S. Halep (ROU)
WTA - Not Before 6:00 PM -  P. Kvitova (CZE) vs  V. Azarenka (BLR)
ATP -  J. Isner (USA) vs Y. Nishioka (JPN)
STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
ATP - J. Millman (AUS) vs  J. Sinner (ITA)
ATP - B. Nakashima (USA) vs  T. Fritz (USA)
ATP -  F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN) vs A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)
WTA - Not Before 6:00 PM - [LL] J. Paolini (ITA) vs  J. Pegula (USA)
WTA - L. Kichenok (UKR) / J. Ostapenko (LAT) vs  H. Carter (USA) / G. Dabrowski (CAN)
STADIUM 4 start 11:00 am
WTA -  S. Fichman (CAN) / G. Olmos (MEX) vs M. Ninomiya (JPN) / S. Santamaria (USA)
WTA - Not Before 1:00 PM - S. Rogers (USA) vs I. Begu (ROU)
WTA - Y. Putintseva (KAZ) vs  J. Ostapenko (LAT)
ATP - Not Before 6:00 pm - [Q] C. Eubanks (USA) vs  N. Basilashvili (GEO)
WTA -  B. Krejcikova (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) vs U. Eikeri (NOR) / A. Sasnovich (BLR)
STADIUM 5 start 11:00 am
ATP - K. Anderson (RSA) vs  L. Sonego (ITA)
ATP -  C. Garin (CHI) vs [Q] E. Escobedo (USA)
ATP - [Q] A. Vukic (AUS) vs  A. de Minaur (AUS)
ATP - Not Before 6:00 pm -  K. Khachanov (RUS) vs E. Ruusuvuori (FIN)
STADIUM 6 start 11:00 am
ATP -  G. Monfils (FRA) vs G. Mager (ITA)
ATP -  F. Fognini (ITA) vs J. Struff (GER)
ATP - [Q] E. Gomez (ECU) vs  P. Carreno Busta (ESP)
ATP - Not Before 6:00 pm - ATP -  N. Mektic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO) vs [WC] M. McDonald (USA) / B. Nakashima (USA)
ATP - R. Klaasen (RSA) / B. McLachlan (JPN) vs M. Arevalo (ESA) / M. Middelkoop (NED)
STADIUM 9 start 11:00 am
First Round - ATP - W. Koolhof (NED) / J. Rojer (NED) vs [PR] A. Krajicek (USA) / A. Mies (GER)
First Round - ATP - A. Behar (URU) / G. Escobar (ECU) vs  J. Peers (AUS) / F. Polasek (SVK)
WTA - After Suitable Rest NB 2:00 PM -  A. Guarachi (CHI) / D. Krawczyk (USA) vs V. Kudermetova (RUS) / E. Rybakina (KAZ)
Second Round - ATP - Not Before 6:00 pm - A. Karatsev (RUS) / A. Rublev (RUS) vs S. Bolelli (ITA) / M. Gonzalez (ARG)