Struff Topples Zverev For Second Top 5 Win
"It's amazing," Struff said. "I played a good match. He was missing some shots today, but at the end of the day I'm very happy with that [performance]."
It was tied for the biggest win of Struff’s career by ATP Ranking, having beaten then-World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka at the 2016 Rolex Paris Masters. It is his third victory against someone ranked inside the Top 10 (3-13).
This is the first time that Struff has won three matches in the main draw of an ATP Masters 1000 event. Before beginning his run in the desert last week, he owned a 1-3 record in Indian Wells.
Struff dominated Zverev with his aggressive play from the baseline. The World No. 3 was pushed behind the baseline, and he was never able to impose his own game. Struff lost just three first-serve points (25/28) and saved all four break points he faced.
Struff will next face 13th seed Milos Raonic, who recovered from down a break in the third set of his third-round match to beat qualifier Marcos Giron. Struff and Raonic have split their two previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, with the German triumphing in Dubai just two weeks ago.
Zverev had won all four of his previous FedEx ATP Head2Head matches against Struff, but all of those clashes came on clay. Zverev, a three-time Masters 1000 champion, will have to wait until 2020 to try to reach the quarter-finals in Indian Wells for the first time. He admitted after the match that he has been suffering from a virus.
"It's about getting healthy and about recovering and preparing myself for Miami," said Zverev, the 2018 Miami finalist (l. to Isner). "Miami is the tournament I do well in [compared to Indian Wells], history-wise."
Did You Know?
While World No. 55 Struff has enjoyed plenty of singles success, advancing to the quarter-finals or better at ATP Tour events 16 times, he has proven to be a strong doubles player, too. Struff has captured two doubles titles with Japan's Ben McLachlan, triumphing in Tokyo last year and Auckland this season.