Match Report

Galvanised Garin Stuns Ruud In Indian Wells

2021 champion Norrie rallies past Daniel
March 12, 2023
Cristian Garin defeats World No. 4 Casper Ruud on Sunday in Indian Wells for his first Top 10 victory since 2021. By ATP Staff

Cristian Garin made it 10 sets played, 10 sets won at the 2023 BNP Paribas Open on Sunday afternoon. It is the Chilean's latest straight-sets victory that may make the rest of the field sit up and take notice at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells.

The former World No. 17 Garin, who came through two qualifying matches to book a spot in the main draw in Indian Wells, sealed a 6-4, 7-6(2) victory against third seed Casper Ruud to reach the fourth round for the first time at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

“With a full stadium, and to play like this today against Casper, who is one of the players that I really admire on Tour, I am so, so happy to keep playing like that,” said Garin. “Aggressive, going to the net, I think that’s the way that I like to play and the only way that I [can] beat these kinds of players. I’m just so happy and I want to keep improving and keep enjoying this tournament.”

Garin qualified without losing a set and then dropped just 10 games across his opening two main-draw matches, and the Chilean showed few nerves when presented with his toughest test yet in California. He outhit the World No. 4 Ruud by 39 winners to 17 to notch his third win against a Top 10 opponent, his first since 2021, and his first on a hard court.

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After clinching the first set by breaking Ruud’s serve in the fifth game, Garin’s composure was tested as he looked to close out the match. Ruud narrowly avoided going down a double break in the second set by recovering 30/40 to hold for 2-3, and the Norwegian went on to force a tie-break as he threatened a comeback on Stadium 1.

Garin expertly ended Ruud’s hopes of victory, however. He reeled off four points in a row to clinch the tie-break as he heaped pressure on the Norwegian's groundstrokes with frequent forays to the net. During his one-hour, 58-minute victory, Garin won 78 per cent (18/23) of points at the net.

“I like to play aggressive and move a lot to the net, and I think Casper is a really good player when you give time to him,” said Garin after extending his ATP Head2Head series lead against Ruud to 3-1. “So I try to go aggressive, go to the net, and play like that… I’ve known Casper for a very long time, so it’s very special to keep playing like this in this tournament, so I want to keep going.”

Garin will look to keep his run going in Indian Wells when he next takes on 23rd seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who defeated 13th seed Karen Khachanov 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 later on Sunday. Should the Chilean triumph, he would advance to his fourth ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final after also reaching that stage at the 2019 Rolex Paris Masters, the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open, and the 2022 Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

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Tenth seed Cameron Norrie also looked in danger of falling to a qualifier on Sunday in the California desert. However, the Briton succeeded where Ruud could not by rallying from a set and a break down to defeat Taro Daniel 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2.

Norrie claimed a see-saw second set, in which he at one point trailed 2-4, by breaking his opponent’s serve three times in a row. He carried that success on return into the decider, breaking the 30-year-old Daniel a further three times to complete a hard-earned two-hour, 41-minute victory.

The win was Norrie’s 20th of the 2023 ATP Tour season, giving him the joint-highest tally on Tour alongside Daniil Medvedev. The 27-year-old Briton lifted his maiden ATP Masters 1000 trophy in Indian Wells in 2021 and is chasing his second trophy of this year after he defeated Carlos Alcaraz for the title in Rio de Janeiro two weeks ago.

The Briton’s fourth-round opponent in the California desert will be sixth seed Andrey Rublev or Ugo Humbert.

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