© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Stefanos Tsitsipas recovers from a one-set deficit to defeat Fabio Fognini in the third round at Indian Wells.

Tsitsipas Rebounds To Beat Fognini In Indian Wells

Second seed to face Australian de Minaur

Stefanos Tsitsipas has surged back from a set and a break down to hold off former World No. 9 Fabio Fognini in the third round at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.

The Greek was rattled early on against the 30th seed, but worked his way back into the match for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in two hours and four minutes. It set a fourth-round meeting with 22nd seed Alex de Minaur after the Australian’s 6-4, 6-2 win against 15th seed Cristian Garin.

Tsitsipas extended his ATP Head2Head record against the Italian to 3-0 as he finished with 21 winners – including 10 off the forehand – and 28 unforced errors. Fognini clocked 32 winners – 22 of those off his forehand – but committed 32 unforced errors.

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“Great comeback, honestly… I don’t know what happened,” Tsitsipas said. “I really wanted to get back in the match and it happened somehow.

“From [a set and a break down] I just took it point by point and it worked out pretty well. A good mindset and also a bit of patience helped as well. I found solutions in those tough moments and really felt like I had momentum.”

Fognini set the tone early when he broke in the opening game on Stadium 1 and his sustained aggression had Tsitsipas unable to make any real inroads as the first set wore on. The Italian withstood a break point as he closed to within a game of the set.

It was all slipping away fast from the Greek as he stared down two set points on serve at the 33-minute mark. While he survived those, his opponent secured it a game later and pressed early in the second set as he broke for 2-1.

The crowd rallied behind the second seed when he broke for the first time to draw level and it marked an immediate switch in momentum as Fognini’s error count grew. Tsitsipas carried the advantage to level the match at a set apiece and capitalised on a string of loose unforced errors from the Italian to land the crucial break for 3-2 in the deciding set and never looked back as he extended his tour-leading match wins this season to 53.

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