Cristian Garin, of Chile, returns a shot to Casper Ruud, of Norway, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Sunday, March 12, 2023, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Qualifier Cristian Garin of Chile shocked third-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway 6-4, 7-6 (2) at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday for his first win over a top-five player in nearly two years.
Garin, ranked No. 97, had 39 winners while Ruud, ranked No. 4, managed just 15 winners against 29 unforced errors in a match that lasted 1 hour, 59 minutes.
“Casper is one of the players that I really admire,” Garin said. “I’m so happy to be playing like that, being aggressive, going to the net. That’s the way that I like to play and the only way that I have to beat these kinds of players.”
The 26-year-old Garin improved to 3-1 lifetime against Ruud, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, since they first met on tour in 2019 at Sao Paulo, Brazil. Garin moves into the round of 16 to face No. 23 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who beat 13th-seeded Karen Khachanov 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
Cameron Norrie, the 2021 Indian Wells champion, rallied from a set and 3-0 down to defeat world No. 103 Taro Daniel 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-2. The 10th-seeded Norrie improved to 11-3 lifetime at Indian Wells and will face sixth-seeded Andrey Rublev, who beat Ugo Humbert 7-5, 6-3. Daniel, a qualifier, was seeking another eye-opening victory following his second-round stunner over Matteo Berrettini.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev, who missed the second half of the 2022 season after tearing three ligaments in his right ankle at the French Open, beat Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 7-5, 1-6, 7-5. He moves on to face fifth-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who defeated Ilya Ivashka 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
Top American woman Jessica Pegula, the No. 3 seed, rallied from a set down for the second consecutive match to beat 26th-seeded Anastasia Potapova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Pegula was close to losing to the 21-year-old upstart. She faced a break point while serving at 4-4 in the second set but got out of trouble and won the set. Pegula had to rally again in the third set, from 2-0 and 3-1 down, but drew even with a break in the sixth game. She broke Potapova to close out the match.
“I think I started playing a little bit smarter, getting a little bit more depth on my shots,” Pegula said. “Everything got a little bit better, but she came out playing really well. I was pretty frustrated but she’s a great player.”
Pegula, who edged Camila Giorgi in her opening match, advances to face Petra Kvitova, who beat Jelena Ostapenko 0-6, 6-0, 6-4.
No. 6 seed Coco Gauff, playing on the eve of her 19th birthday, eased past Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-3 in a showdown of teenagers to advance to face Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson, who beat Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
“I felt a little pressure coming in in today’s match, to be honest with you, because of the age thing, which I’ve never thought about that in the past,” said Gauff, who moved into the round of 16 in the Southern California desert for the first time.
Seventh-seeded Maria Sakkari beat No. 27 Anhelina Kalinina 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Sakkari, who reached the final last year, advanced to the round of 16 for the third time in five career BNP Paribas Open appearances. The Greek player will face No. 17 seed Karolina Pliskova, who breezed past No. 11 seed Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 7-5.
GENEVA (AP) — Russian athletes who have actively served in the military invasion of Ukraine should be allowed to return to international sports if they did not take part in war crimes, according to a United Nations expert advising the International Olympic Committee.
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