Welcome to the Liveblog for all the happenings of today’s action at Indian Wells! The order of play is stacked with intriguing matches, so there will be plenty to focus on during the next few hours.
Here is the complete order of play, in case you haven’t seen it yet, and here is the first batch of matches that are scheduled on the three main courts, with my highlights around what matches I’m most intrigued by:
I’ll try to keep an eye on what’s happening on all courts in the desert, with top of the hour updates of who’s won and where matches are at, and a little more in-depth observations on the matches I’m most interested in. Speaking of those, here is a little preview of what I’m looking for in those contests:
Madison Keys vs Samantha Stosur – Stadium 1
Maybe the top prospect in women’s tennis gets another chance to impress on a big stage and against a top-10 opponent. Sam Stosur has only made it past the third round at Indian Wells once (2010, when she made the semis), so this has a hint of “upset special” in the works. I liked what I saw from Keys in Australia, so I’m curious to observe how her progress is coming along.
Jerzy Janowicz vs David Nalbandián – Stadium 2
David Nalbandián has a decent 17-9 record at Indian Wells, with a few quarterfinal appearances to his name. His return of serve should be tested by Janowicz’ huge deliveries, and it’ll be interesting to see if Janowicz can make any dent returning Nalbandián’s serve. Clearly an old-vs-new match-up, it should provide some insights into whether Janowicz is ready to keep climbing up the rankings, or if Nalbandián is closer and closer to the dreaded “r” word. The slower courts suit both, which is an interesting twist that hopefully leads to a good match.
Ana Ivanovic vs Taylor Townsend – Stadium 2
Taylor Townsend won her first main draw match the other day vs Hradecka, which is a huge accomplishment. I’ve never seen her play, so I’m quite curious to try and figure out what’s there in terms of the future. This is also a chance to see where Ana Ivanovic is at, given her unimpressive 6-4 start to the year. Let’s remember that Ivanovic won this event in 2008, and made the final in 2009.
Richard Gasquet vs Bernard Tomic (a.k.a, the #BernieGOAT) – Stadium 2
I somehow picked Richard Gasquet to make it all the way to the semis in our Indian Wells Preview Podcast a few days ago, based on his blistering start of the year: Gasquet has won two titles already, and is off to a 15-3 start, which surely is impressive. However, since winning the title at Montpellier, Gasquet has lost two of the last three matches he’s played, so it’ll be interesting to see if that was just a blip, or the start of a new (downward) trend. As for the #BernieGOAT, this is yet another chance to prove that he’s serious about making his mark on the tour this year, particularly in events not played in Australia. He’s been solid so far, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of a performance we get from him today. Worth noting: Gasquet is an unspectacular 10-7 in his career at Indian Wells, and his last three performances have included two losses in his first match, as well as a career-best result in 2011 when he made the quarterfinals.
Best of the rest
Isner-Hewitt could be fun … if John Isner forgets for a second that he’s defending finalist points here, as well as his pretty terrible start to the year. Can Hantuchova summon some of her Indian Wells mojo (she’s won here twice) and bother reigning champion Victoria Azarenka? Hantuchova even has a favorable head-to head record against the World No. 2. Dennis Istomin hasn’t been able to take a set off Roger Federer in three tries. Is there anything about Indian Wells that can reverse that trend? Can David Ferrer alter his unspectacular record at Indian Wells? He faces a tricky opponent in Kevin Anderson. Speaking of top 10 players with unremarkable records in the desert, what does Tomas Berdych have in store, apart from his bland, brand-less kit? Can Jamie Hampton have a good run? She plays Su-wei Hsieh on Stadium 3. Can Tipsarevic and Kerber stop their run of horrible results? And if they’re injured, will they ever stop playing? Can Caroline Wozniacki bounce back from her bad loss in Kuala Lumpur? She’s won this event before. Can Garbine Muguruza keep winning so more people notice her as a very intriguing prospect for the WTA?
As you can see, there is plenty of action in store today, and I haven’t even talked about the night session on the main courts! I’ll do that once this early slate is over, so don’t worry – there’s time to talk about Rafael Nadal’s debut at Indian Wells, and of course, about Sloane Stephens.
I’ll be using Pacific time on my time stamps, so you can follow along with the Order of Play.
Do remember to refresh this page often, as I’ll be constantly updating this page!
11:05 am: Not a whole lot of people in Stadium 1 for Madison Keys-Samantha Stosur, apparently:
Stosur starts with a wild double-fault. Followed by a wild FH error. Bad omen?
Kohli playing in his first tournament since suffering that hamstring injury against Berlocq in Davis Cup.
— Josh (@TheSixthSet) March 9, 2013
11:13 am: Stosur manages to hold, but then Keys responds with a very, very impressive love hold. 1-all in Stadium 1.
12:55 pm: You won’t believe it, but the power went off for over an hour and a half here in Houston. During this time, the following results have already become final:
Stosur def. Keys 6-3, 6-4
Hampton def. Hsieh 6-3, 6-3
Paire def. Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2
Nieminen def. Verdasco 6-1, 6-0 (!!!!!!!!!)
Wawrinka def. Odesnik 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
12:58 pm: I tune in to the Stadium 2 feed to see Kevin Anderson go up a break in the third set over perennial Indian Wells underachiever David Ferrer. He’s up 4-2.
Seems like I missed some controversy in that Stosur-Keys match:
Agent Max Eisenbud just in here, livid at lack of crowd support that IW crowd gave his client American Madison Keys. Called them “morons.”
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) March 9, 2013
Eisenbud was incredulous at how crowd in USA could support an Aussie over an American, said this is only place that would happen. #bnppo13
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) March 9, 2013
I’m surprised at this — the IW crowd usually is very supportive of American players. However, there weren’t many spectators in Stadium 1, so I wonder if the traditional bunch of Aussie fans was just louder than normal under the circumstances?
1:03 pm: As Ferrer finds himself down 2-5 in the 3rd set vs Anderson, a good reminder of just how bad his record is at Indian Wells:
The highest ranked player that Ferrer has ever defeated at IW is No. 28 Sebastian Grosjean in 2005.Into a 3rd set w/ Anderson. #bnppo13
— 10sworld.com (@10sworld) March 9, 2013
1:08 pm: Lotto continues with their “one kit for every player we sponsor” strategy. Here is what Kevin Anderson is wearing (the only difference with what Ferrer is using is the color of the shorts):
In related news, he has two match points, at 40-15, 5-3. Anderson comes up with the upset, when Ferrer can’t put a backhand second serve return over the net. Huge win for Anderson, and another bad result at Indian Wells for the World No. 4.
Here are your match stats for the Kevin Anderson upset:
Gilles Simon is now the highest seed  in that Ferrer section with Verdasco and Kohlschreiber all losing today. #BNPPO13
— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) March 9, 2013
Berdych’s path to the semis got a lot easier, if it weren’t for the fact that Tomas Berdych has never played all that well at Indian Wells: just 11-8 all-time, with a single quarterfinals appearance to his name. I’m liking my Gasquet pick a lot more now!
In unrelated news, Lleyton Hewitt found himself in a 15-30 hole at 4-5, but dug himself out, and his match with John Isner still marches to a seemingly inevitable first set tiebreaker. 5-all, 30-15 at the moment.
The WTA one was funnier, but this one was quite solid, too.
The tiebreaker between Isner and Hewitt has started.
1:32 pm: Isner had a set point on his own serve at 6-5, but Lleyton Hewitt came up with a couple of crazy gets, and the tiebreaker is now even at 6-all. Isner has another set point after Hewitt sends a cross court backhand passing shot into the net. And Isner takes the set on a cracking inside-in forehand return winner! Poor Rusty had no chance.
Onto Stadium 2 now, where David Nalbandián is about to face Jerzy Janowicz.
1:36 pm: Nalbandián holds to open the match, and Janowicz starts his own service game with a double fault. The Pole then sends a backhand down the line winner to atone for his earlier mistake. Here is what Janowicz is wearing at Indian Wells:
Notice how Janowicz is wearing Nike shorts, a Nike shirt that has the logo covered by his Polish sponsor, a Nike cap … and adidas shoes. No clothing sponsor yet for one of the top prospects of the ATP.
1:41 pm: Apparently, I missed David Ferrer having a meltdown, which was captured by Chris Oddo over at Tennis Now:
In unrelated news, Jerzy Janowicz broke David Nalbandián at love. The Sponsorless One is up 2-1 with serve.
1:45 pm: Janowicz consolidates his break, and Lleyton Hewitt is now up a break to start the second set vs Isner. In WTA news, Julia Goerges is up a set on Sofia Arvidsson, impressive Spanish prospect Garbine Muguruza is already up a break (4-1) vs Makarova, and Monica Niculescu is up a break on Kirsten Flipkens (3-2).
1:50 pm: These are the things you tweet after you lose 1 and 0 to Jarkko Nieminen:
One of the toughest days of my life. Hard to play after almost a month without practice. But I promise I will be good soon. Thanks.
— Fernando Verdasco (@FeVerdasco7) March 9, 2013
1:57 pm: Janowicz is still up a break 4-2 on Nalbandián, and so is Lleyton Hewitt over Isner, albeit in the second set. Here is what David Nalbandián is wearing today:
The horror. The horror.
2:00 pm UPDATE:
Lleyton Hewitt has a set point at 2-5 on John Isner’s serve, but Isner saves it.
David Nalbandián recovers his break against Janowicz after hitting two gorgeous forehand winners. Now on serve, 4-all. Janowicz double faults twice to start that service game. Nalbandián then consolidates the break, 5-4.
Paolo Lorenzi is up two breaks on Gilles Simon, 3-0 in the first set (!!!)
The Murray brothers are up a break in their doubles match against Lindstedt/Zimonjic.
Julia Goerges is up a set and a break, 6-4, 4-3 against Arvidsson.
Nadia Petrova is up 2-0 in the first set against Voegele.
Garbine Muguruza just took the first set, 6-3 over Makarova.
Monica Niculescu has just done the same, 6-4 over Flipkens.
2:12 pm: A crazy reflex volley by Janowicz draws the applause from Nalbandián. I have no idea how the Zeppelin fan hit that shot. He’s serving to stay in the set at 4-5, 15-all.
I have to say, this match is quite fun.
2:17 pm: We have another final result (and a few that I missed):
Julia Goerges def. Sofia Arvidsson 6-3, 6-3
Shuai Peng def. Alexandra Dulgheru, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3
Yanina Wickmayer def. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Angelique Kerber def. Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-2 (!!!)
Leonardo Mayer def. Mikhail Youzyny 6-2, 6-3 (!!!)
In other updates, Lleyton Hewitt took the second set vs. Isner 6-3, and they’re in a decider.
Jerzy Janowicz has four break chances at 5-all, and finally breaks after Nalbandián served and volleys to his backhand – not a bad play, but Janowicz sends a thundering backhand return into Nalbandián’s body. Janowicz will serve for the first set.
2:00 pm: Janowicz starts with a double fault, and then Nalbandián gets lucky with a letcord. The Argie has a forehand volley to make it 0-40, but nets it. 15-30.
I have to say, Jerzy Janowicz’s backhand has been a pleasant surprise today. I wonder if the high bounce and the slow courts help him execute that shot properly.
Nalbandián does make it 15-40 after Janowicz sends a forehand into the net (after hitting many good backhands). One break point is saved by a good serve, but the other is not, since Janowicz double faults for the second time in this game. That was double fault number six of the match.
2:41 pm: You won’t believe this (again), but the power went out in my apartment yet again. Fortunately this was a short outage. I can’t believe this has happened twice already today. I’m in Houston, Texas! Anyway, this is what I missed:
Janowicz takes set 1 over Nalbandian in 61 minutes, 7-4 in the breaker. Took the decisive mini-break at 4-4 with a signature dropper.
— Chris Oddo (@TheFanChild) March 9, 2013
Lleyton Hewitt just held serve, and he’s on serve with John Isner, 3-all in the third. However, the tall American just botched two volleys, and is down 0-30 on his serve.
In other news, remember when Paolo Lorenzi was up 3-0 with two breaks over Gilles Simon? Well, he lost the set 6-3, but is somehow up a break in the second set, 2-0. So if you’re scoring at home, Lorenzi won three games, then Simon won six games, and now Lorenzi has won two.
As for the WTA, Nadia Petrova is up a set and a break over Voegele, 6-2, 2-0, and Makarova breadsticked Muguruza in the second set, and is on serve in the third. As I type this, Niculescu is up a set, but down three set points vs. Flipkens, on her serve at 4-5 in the 2nd set. She saves the first one, but Flipkens take the second one. Onto a third there.
2:48 pm: Lleyton Hewitt breaks Isner! Rusty is up 4-3 in the third after a wild, wild Isner forehand unforced error. There’s a nice crowd over at Stadium 1:
2:55 pm: Janowicz has a 0-40 advantage at 2-1 in the second set, but David Nalbandián claws back and holds. 2-all. On Stadium 1, Lleyton Hewitt will serve for the match against Isner.
2:58 pm: Isner just saved two match points with a lot of impressive shots. The backhand would not give in. Now Isner has a chance to break back, after a bad backhand unforced error from Hewitt. Isner goes for a huge forehand return winner, it’s called out, Isner challenges, and we see that it missed by about a foot.
3:00 pm UPDATE:
Rusty gets to match point number three after a ridiculous quasi-volley, but botches the match point after another bad cross court backhand unforced error. This is why Rusty can’t get back to the top 10: the fight is there, but the shots just aren’t. However, it’s match point number four after a very smart serve that catches Isner cheating to unload on another huge forehand return.
But Rusty serves it out! A simple forehand put-away after a short Isner return, and last year’s finalist is sent packing. Here’s Rusty addressing the crowd:
In other results: Janowicz/Nalbandián are still on serve in the second set, Paolo Lorenzi is up a break in the second set, 4-2, and the Murray brothers are up a set on an actual doubles team.
In the WTA world, the World No. 1 doubles team is down a break to Hsieh and Peng in the first set, 2-5, Petrova is still up a break on Voegele, Muguruza and Makarova are on serve in the third, and so are Niculescu and Flipkens.
3:12 pm: Jerzy Janowicz tries one of his famed droppers down break point, but it’s a bad idea (and poorly executed at that), and David Nalbandián is now up a break in the second set, 4-3.
Meanwhile, Ivan Ljubicic comments about the dire state of men’s tennis in the USA:
“@benrothenberg: And unless Querrey wins his first match the US could be without a top 20 man for first time EVER.” Wow. Crazy stat
— Ivan Ljubicic (@theljubicic) March 9, 2013
3:18 pm: Nalbandián botches a high forehand volley, and his break advantage has disappeared. Back on serve at 4-all.
Simon and Lorenzi split 6-3 sets. 8 DFs for Simon, 46% serving for Lorenzi, 8 breaks of serve total. Brutal. #bnppo13
— 10sworld.com (@10sworld) March 9, 2013
Also, this is how Jerzy Janowicz is wearing his Nike cap now:
3:21 pm: Janowicz hits a silly dropper that doesn’t cross the net, and then double faults away a break at 15-40. Not the greatest showing in this second set so far. Nalbandián will serve for the set at 5-4.
The trainer is out for Janowicz, who seems to be having some sort of problem with his shoe inserts. Time to remember that Janowicz switched from using Nike shoes to Adidas for this tournament.
In other news:
– Federer-Istomin has started, but only one point has been recorded so far.
– Paolo Lorenzi took the second set from Gilles Simon, and is up an early break in the third.
– Zimonjic and Lindstedt took the second set from the Murray brothers, but are down 0-3 in the super tiebreaker.
– Errani and Vinci lost the first set, but are on serve in the second.
– Makarova is up a break on Muguruza in the third set.
– Nadia Petrova def. Stefanie Voegele, 6-2, 6-3.
– Kirsten Flipkens def. Monica Niculescu 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
And as I finish typing that, Nalbandián serves out the second set against Janowicz, and we’re heading into a third.
Here are your second set stats for that match:
3:30 pm: Janowicz keeps struggling with his footwear, it seems:
Nalbandián takes a bathroom break, hence the delay in the re-start. In all the time it took for that to happen, Federer already broke Istomin for a 2-0 lead in the first set.
Also, Paolo Lorenzi is now up two breaks on Gilles Simon in the third set. But we know what happened when he had that 3-0 advantage in the 1st set (he lost six straight games).
This Federer’s 100th Masters 1000 event…
— Rob Koenig (@RobKoenigTennis) March 9, 2013
It also seems like the Murray brothers have beaten the No. 5 seeds in doubles. Impressive.
3:39 pm: Garbine Muguruza wins again! She defeats Makarova 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. And she was down a break in that third set, too.
In other news, Federer is now up two breaks on Istomin, 4-1.
Lorenzi and Simon seem to be playing the longest game in history. They’re still at 3-0 in the third set, with Lorenzi trying to consolidate his double break.
— The Slice (@TheSliceTweets) March 9, 2013
3:44 pm: David Nalbandián plays a very, very sloppy game, punctuated by a bad second ball cross court backhand unforced error, and hands Jerzy Janowicz the break.
Welcome back, Mardy Fish. On court in doubles with Blake vs. Verdasco/Marrero. #BNPPO13
— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) March 9, 2013
3:48 pm: Janowicz is down 0-30, but his monster serve earns him four straight points, and the tall Pole consolidates his break, 4-1 in the third.
– Federer is up 5-2 on Istomin, and is close to wrapping that first set up.
– Paolo Lorenzi managed to keep his two-break advantage over Simon, and they’re at 4-1 in the third set.
– Shocker! The best women’s doubles team has lost in straight sets to Hsieh and Peng, 2 and 3. Surprising result for the Italian duo of Errani and Vinci.
– Magdalena Rybarikova is up two breaks on Lucie Safarova, 4-1 in the first set.
– The Ageless Wonder, Kimiko Date-Krumm has a break chance to go up 2-1 on Elena Vesnina in the first set of their match.
3:53 pm: Janowicz is flying high, and David Nalbandián isn’t. Two silly errors by the Argie give Janowicz a double break lead, and he is now serving for the match at 5-1 in the third set.
Isner totally down in dumps in presser. Lots of 1 word answers. Been a tough first quarter
— Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) March 9, 2013
Janowicz plays a poor game, influenced by some very good, deep Nalbandián returns, and this match is somehow not over. Nalbandián will serve to stay in it, 2-5.
– Paolo Lorenzi is trying to serve out the match against Simon, up 5-2.
– Benneteau-Dodig is set to start.
4:00 pm UPDATE:
– Janowicz is trying to serve out the match once again, this time at 5-3, and sends a backhand well long to start. 0-15.
– Istomin and Federer are still on serve in the second set, 1-all.
– Gilles Simon breaks Lorenzi, and will serve to stay in the match at 3-5.
– Rybarikova is up a set on Safarova, 6-2.
– Kimiko Date-Krumm is up a break on Vesnina, 3-2 in the first set.
4:03 pm: Jerzy Janowicz wins! 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3. A good win for Janowicz, who will face the winner of Gasquet-Tomic.
Over on Stadium 1, Roger Federer is up a break on Istomin in the second set, 2-1. In Stadium 3, Gilles Simon is battling for dear life against Lorenzi, and they’re knotted at deuce at 5-3 in the third set.
And here is Janowicz bowing to all four sides of the Stadium, in appreciation for the fans’ support:
4:11 pm: In Stadium 1, Roger Federer is sporting a new color combination with his IW kit:
Can’t remember the four-time Indian Wells champion to ever wear blue and orange. For some reason, I’m thinking of old alternate kits from the Dutch national soccer team. Does not look bad.
And apologies to Lotto, who indeed have created two shirts for their 10405789248950854 players, as seen here:
They’re really two variations of the same shirt, but still, a welcome change from the first part of the year.
Cute that Taylor Townsend’s massive headphones match her white and orange kit. Ah, youth. On court vs. Ivanovic now. #BNPPO13
— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) March 10, 2013
And that’s my cue to switch streams!
DelPo’s treating his left wrist with ice & anti-inflammatories. He’s in contact with his doctor from the Mayo Clinic.
— Joanna (@Janie5Jones) March 10, 2013
This … cannot be good.
4:21 pm: Roger Federer gets his title defense bid going in style, beating Dennis Istomin 2 and 3.
And … you will not believe this, but Gilles Simon, who was down 2-5 in the third set, has just taken the match against Lorenzi 7-5 in the third. He won five straight games on the hapless Italian, who’ll surely need some comforting tonight.
In news that will make Lindsay sad, Ivan Dodig is up a break on Benneteau, 4-2 in the first set.
4:29 pm: After a few technical issues, the stream for Townsend-Ivanovic is on, and Ivanovic has already broken the young American for 2-0. If you’ve never seen a picture of Taylor Townsend, here she is:
Jamie Hampton and Melanie Oudin out supporting Taylor Townsend in her match vs Ivanovic. She seems very nervous to start #BNPP013
— Jenn Goldberg (@jenninlaca) March 10, 2013
5:00 pm UPDATE:
– Ana Ivanovic broke Taylor Townsend yet again, and took the first set of their match 6-1.
– Daniela Hantuchova, Indian Wells Great, took the opening two games of the first set of her match against reigning champion Victoria Azarenka.
– Caroline Wozniacki and Alizé Cornet are on serve in the first set, 2-1.
– Kimiko Date-Krumm is up a set and a break on Elena Vesnina.
– Lucie Safarova has leveled her match against Rybarikova at one set apiece, but is facing a break point in the opening game of the third set.
– Ivan Dodig is now a set and a break up on Julien Benneteau. 6-4, 1-0.
– Mardy Fish’s return to official competition has gotten off to a great start, as he and James Blake win their doubles match against Marrero and Verdasco in straight sets.
Here are your first set stats from Ivanovic-Townsend:
5:07 pm: Taylor Townsend goes down a break to start the second set, but gets it back with all sorts of impressive trickery. She chipped and charged, hit droppers, volleys, and even a gorgeous lob-volley.
To me, the talent there is so obvious. This young woman was born to play tennis. She seems to have a nice attitude on court, too. Her lefty forehand is already huge, and she seems to have an easy time changing the direction of the ball with hit. Her backhand is okay, and her serve needs some work. Watching her play this match, I can only say that she’s still raw, which is normal – she’s just starting her career. But I think she’s a surefire prospect – things would have to go horribly wrong for her not to be a solid pro in the future.
And here’s something that’s really nice to see: Jamie Hampton, Madison Keys, and Melanie Oudin are in the stands to support Townsend:
In other news, Azarenka got the early break back vs Hantuchova, but fell down a break again – she’s yet to hold, down 1-4 in that match.
5:23 pm: Townsend finds herself in a 15-30 hole. In other news around the grounds:
– Azarenka is back on serve against Hantuchova, 3-4 in the first.
– Wozniacki and Cornet are tied up at 4-all in the first set.
– Mona Barthel is up 4-1 on Kiki Bertens.
– Rybarikova is up a break in the third set against Safarova.
– Elena Vesnina will serve for the second set, trying to send this match into a third. Kimiko Date-Krumm was up a break earlier.
Ivanovic has a break point after a glorious cross court backhand counter-dropper. But she misses a return, and it’s back to deuce.
5:30 pm: The perils of youth. Taylor Townsend is battling bravely, but at deuce hits a horrible dropper that doesn’t come close to clearing the net, and then hands the break to Ivanovic via a double fault. Unfortunate.
Elsewhere, Rybarikova will serve for the match against Safarova (up 30-0, 5-2 right now), Wozniacki will serve for the first set vs Cornet, and Mona Barthel is up a breadstick and a break over Bertens.
Oh, and Victoria Azarenka will serve for the first set against Hantuchova.
Here’s Taylor Townsend looking at some notes, as she prepares to serve to stay in the match, at 2-5:
Ivanovic blasts a backhand return towards a rushing Townsend, and the match ends.
That was as entertaining as a 1 and 2 match that didn’t even last an hour gets. I’m really impressed by Taylor Townsend. May her development continue, and may we see more of her.
Here are your final match stats for Townsend-Ivanovic:
#BernieGOAT-Gasquet will be up on Stadium 1, so it’s time to check on the WTA World No. 2 over in Stadium 1.
5:47 pm: At one point in the first set, Daniela Hantuchova was up 4-1. She then lost five straight games, but just held to start the second set. The bleeding has stopped.
Man it’s nice to play tennis again. #ihavemissedyou
— Mardy Fish (@MardyFish) March 10, 2013
6:00 pm UPDATE:
– Azarenka has a break point at 1-all on Hantuchova’s serve. A fantastic return leaves a cross court forehand opportunity that the World No. 2 does not waste, and she goes up 2-1, with a break advantage.
– Caroline Wozniacki took the first set against Alizé Cornet 6-4, and is on serve in the second set.
– Mona Barthel is two points away from clinching an easy win against Kiki Bertens, 6-1, 5-3 and now match point, 30-40.
– Elena Vesnina has turned around her match against Date-Krumm completely: she took the second set 7-5, and is now up two breaks in the third set, 4-1.
– Also, Roger Federer will sleep a little better tonight, knowing that he won’t have to deal with Julien Benneteau in the third round: the best ATP player without a singles title went down to Ivan Dodig 4 and 2.
6:19 pm: Here are some final results:
– Victoria Azarenka def. Daniela Hantuchova 4 and 1.
– Elena Vesnina def. Kimiko Date-Krumm 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
– Alizé Cornet is trying to serve out the second set vs. Wozniacki, at 5-3, 30-all.
– Andreas Seppi is up a set on Daniel Brands – they’re on serve in the second set, 4-3. Apparently, Seppi was up a break in the second set.
– Goffin and Mayer will start soon and …
– The #BernieGOAT is on serve against Richard Gasquet, 3-2 in the first set.
About Azarenka, here is her bizarre calf tape:
6:26 pm: Bernie Tomic plays a few silly points, and sadly for him, saves the silliest for the end, as he gets broken to 15 by Gasquet, who consolidates his break advantage with a glorious cross court backhand winner, and is up 5-2.
Elsewhere, Caroline Wozniacki is into a third set with the resurgent Alizé Cornet. There will be drama on Stadium 3.
Caroline Wozniacki broken to open the third set vs. Cornet on a packed-out Stadium 3. Even with struggles, still a popular player. #bnppo13
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) March 10, 2013
Lorenzi had MPs in three different games. That is LEGENDARY material we are working with, there.
— Ricky Dimon (@RD_Tennistalk) March 10, 2013
6:35 pm: Gasquet went down 0-40 in a hurry when he tried to serve out the first set, and dug himself out of the hole just as quickly. However, a good Bernie forehand and a bad Gasquet unforced error give the #BernieGOAT new life, and he’ll serve to stay in the set, 4-5.
In somewhat related news, Andreas Seppi has beaten Daniel Brands, 5 and 4, and Goffin is down a break to Mayer in the first set.
Bernie Tomic holds at love, so we’re at 5-all.
6:44 pm: A good time to remind ourselves that the night session is almost upon us. Here’s the slate:
All eyes will be on Stadium 1, of course, to see just how good Rafael Nadal looks on his first hard court match in almost a year. Also on display? Ryan Harrison, who’s had a pretty sad start to 2013. The Young Americans watch continues, as Sloane Stephens will make her Indian Wells debut against the younger of the Radwanska sisters.
Tomas Berdych, who is playing well lately, will be up also, and the man on the second longest winning streak in men’s tennis, Ernests Gulbis, will face a slumping (to put it kindly) Janko Tipsarevic.
While I write this, Bernie Tomic has played an absolutely horrific tiebreaker, and find himself down 1-6, which quickly becomes 1-7. First set to Gasquet.
7:00 pm UPDATE:
Moth emergency on Court 2.Following Tomic around. Crowd entertained. #BNPPO13 -JK
— Tennis Panorama News (@TennisNewsTPN) March 10, 2013
– Bernie Tomic faces two break points at 1-all, but saves them both. Still on serve, until he faces a third break point and meekly sends a backhand slice into the net.
– Florian Mayer took the first set 6-4 over Goffin.
– Alizé Cornet and Caroline Wozniacki are tied 3-all in the third set, in what apparently is a battle to the death.
– Earlier today, we saw the top women’s doubles team go down. The No. 2 seed is about to follow suit: Hlavackova and Hradecka are down 4-6, 3-5 against Dushevina and Panova. Interesting.
7:10 pm: The two-time Indian Wells Champion is on the court!
And here’s Ryan Harrison, wearing a pretty awful shirt:
7:14 pm: Caroline Wozniacki is through – finally: she wins 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 over Alizé Cornet.
The Czech doubles team averted defeat, it seems. Tied up at 5-all in the second set.
Sadly, the wheels seem to have come off Bernie Tomic, as he’s down 1-5 in the second set, two points away from defeat at 30-all.
7:25 pm: Nadal and Harrison are on serve at 2-1. Haven’t seen much, but Nadal looks pretty decent out there.
– Richard Gasquet is attempting to serve for the match at 5-2 in the second set, and has his first match point at 40-30.
– Florian Mayer is up a set and a break, 4-2 in the second, against Goffin.
– Ernests “Jazz Hands” Gulbis and Janko Tipsarevic are on court, and are soon to start.
Ryan Harrison keeps charging the net, which against Rafael Nadal, is not a very good idea. He’s down 15-40, 1-2, and gets broken after a backhand unforced error. Nadal up 3-1. Moments later, it’s 4-1 after an easy hold.
RT @thenextpoint: GSM Gasquet over Tomic 7/6 6/2, on his 6th MP.
— 10sworld.com (@10sworld) March 10, 2013
Not the greatest showing by the #BernieGOAT. But Gasquet continues his very solid start to 2013. Onto the semifinals, Richard!
7:40 pm: So … Rafael Nadal had two chances to go up a double-break at 4-1, but Harrison came up with some clutch volleys. That was followed by one of the worst games Nadal has played in recent memory – there were unforced errors galore. Nadal gets broken at 15, and we’re back on serve.
In other news…
– Florian Mayer dismisses David Goffin 4 and 2 and …
– The Czech women’s doubles team goes down in a second set tiebreaker. Top two seeds in the women’s doubles draw are out, and it’s only the first Saturday.
Rafa has a slight case of the “Petras” with his forehand. #invisibledoubles
— Ang (@4AllSurfaces) March 10, 2013
Ryan Harrison has a break point at 30-40, 5-all. The previous point saw Nadal frame a forehand, and then misfire on another forehand by about two miles. Nadal’s level has dipped pretty dramatically since that good 4-1 start. Still fighting out there, trying to get his forehand to cooperate. Which it does to finally hold. 6-5.
8:00 pm UPDATE:
– Nadal and Harrison are still on serve – Harrison is trying to send this set into a tiebreaker.
– Ernests Gulbis continues his hot streak, taking the first set 6-2 over Janko Tipsarevic.
– Tomas Berdych is up a break early, 3-0, over Mischa Zverev, a qualifier.
Nadal smacks two big returns, and it’s 30-all. The current World No. 5 (so odd to type that) is two points away from the set. Harrison serves and volleys on a second serve … and Nadal botches the backhand return. A service winner later, and we’re into a tiebreaker.
8:10 pm: Nadal wraps up the first set, 7-3 in the tiebreaker. It was a struggle, and after a good start, there were only glimpses of good play from Nadal. Ryan Harrison fought hard … but played a very, very sloppy tiebreaker. So many silly errors.
Here are your first set stats for Nadal-Harrison:
Elsewhere, Ernests Gulbis is now up 6-2, 4-0 on Janko “Yep, I’m a top 10 tennis player” Tipsarevic, who again, is injured enough to pull out of Davis Cup, but not injured enough to pull out of regular tour events. He hasn’t won a match since the Australian Open.
Tomas Berdych is still up a break on Zverev, 4-2.
8:25 pm: Nadal breaks to go up 2-1, summoning some of that top level from early in the first set.
Wow. Gulbis wins 6-2, 6-0 over Tipsarevic, for his 12th straight win. 14 winners to 3 for Tipsarevic. Will face Seppi next.
— Chris Oddo (@TheFanChild) March 10, 2013
@linzsports yeah, but doesn’t the fact that this was a winnable match for Gulbis almost make it even more of an upset?
— Daniel Mahfood (@DanielMahfood) March 10, 2013
8:38 pm: Nadal breaks Harrison at love to go up a double break, and it’s 4-1 in the second set. This might be over very, very soon. Nadal consolidates the second break at love, so it’s 5-1.
Elsewhere, Tomas Berdych is up a set on Zverev, and they’re on serve in the second, 1-all.
8:46 pm: Ryan Harrison plays one of his best service games in a while, and Rafael Nadal will have two chances to serve out his first hard court victory since the Miami quarterfinals last year.
It’s 40-0 in a hurry, triple match point. An overhead smash seals it – 7-6, 6-2. Not the greatest showing, but enough to win this match in straights. Something to build on. Leo Mayer who Nadal played in Acapulco, is up next.
Ryan Harrison, per our commentator, is now 0-17 against top 10 opponents.
Here’s Nadal, certainly delighted to get that first hard court win after such a long time:
9:25 pm: So … there is no TV coverage whatsoever of Sloane Stephens vs. Urszula Radwanska. Which I find simply amazing. The Tennis Channel is showing the Monday exhibition in Los Angeles (five days old), and the streams on ESPN3 and TennisTV have ended.
This is amazing. In the worst possible way.
One last result of the day: Tomas Berdych beat Mischa Zverev 2 and 4. So there’s that.
Urszula Radwanska is up 2-1 on Sloane Stephens, and they’re on serve. I guess it’s time to end this First Saturday Liveblog, since there’s no point writing about something I can’t watch.
About this broadcast fail, here is a sort of inside scoop, courtesy of the great Lindsay Davenport:
@benrothenberg TC fought incredibly hard to show it, but they don’t control which matches are produced here. World feed refused to do it 🙁
— Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) March 10, 2013
@benrothenberg originally for today’s play, world feed was only going to produce ONE women’s match all day! TC had to fight to even get Keys
— Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) March 10, 2013
@benrothenberg and Stosur-also Ivanovic/Townsend. They are trying to get more womens matches produced and tom we will do maria & Bartoli/Kuz
— Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) March 10, 2013
This can only happen in tennis. That’s for sure.
At any rate, thanks to everyone who followed along!