© 2021 Getty Images

Diego Schwartzman wins a three-set battle with Maxime Cressy to advance to the third round in Indian Wells.

Schwartzman Saves Match Points, Evans Defeats Nishikori

Argentine To Meet Brit In Third Round

Diego Schwartzman pulled through an epic second-round encounter against qualifier Maxime Cressy at the BNP Paribas Open Saturday, saving two match points to win 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

Eleventh seed Schwartzman broke Cressy to stay alive in the deciding set, with the American leading 5-4, 40/15 before Schwartzman won the next four points to get back on serve. The Argentine’s mental toughness was on full display, as he won the last four games of the match to advance to the third round.

World No. 145 Cressy is no stranger to an upset, having defeated Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in a five-set thriller in the first round of this year’s US Open.

Schwartzman, who won the title in Buenos Aires in March without dropping a set, will next take on Daniel Evans, who defeated Kei Nishikori Saturday 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 31-year-old Briton continues his campaign to reach the Top 20 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, gaining his first victory over Nishikori since the US Open in 2013.

FOLLOW THIS WEEK'S ACTION

"It was a good match," said Evans. "It was satisfying, how I dealt with a bit of adversity after the first set. It was a tough first-round draw."

In the deciding set the World No. 22 saved all four break points that he faced, breaking the Nishikori serve at his only opportunity.

Evans lifted his first ATP Tour trophy this year in Melbourne, and was a semi-finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte-Carlo in April. Schwartzman was victorious when the two played in their only meeting in Cincinnati this year.

"Looking back, I lost the match, but I have pretty good memories," said Evans. "I know a lot of things that I did well, that worked. I sort of know how he might try and play."

Earlier, Casper Ruud eased past Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2 in 71 minutes, winning 80 per cent (33/41) of total service points. The 22-year-old Norwegian has put himself in an ideal position to qualify for the year-end Nitto ATP Finals, currently sitting in eighth position in the FedEx ATP Race to Turin.

Ruud defeated Cameron Norrie to win the trophy in San Diego last week, which was his tour-leading fifth ATP Tour title in 2021. Up next for Ruud is South African Lloyd Harris or Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.