Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sports

Tennis-Tsitsipas crashes out of Indian Wells in second round

By Rory Carroll

INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) -Stefanos Tsitsipas’s hopes of taking over the world number one ranking with an Indian Wells title ended in a 7-6(0) 4-6 7-6(5) second-round loss to Australian Jordan Thompson on Friday.

Second seed Tsitsipas told reporters on Wednesday that he did not expect to make a deep run at the tournament due to his ailing shoulder and it was unclear how much he had left in the tank after he was blanked in the first set breaker.

But the Greek battled back and secured the only service break of the match in the second and pumped up the crowd ahead of the third set tiebreak.

But his overly aggressive play in the breaker, including a forehand on match point that missed the line by the slimmest of margins, was his undoing.

A beaming Thompson fired a ball high into the air in celebration after he notched his first win over Tsitsipas in three career meetings and second over a top 10 player.

“It’s unreal,” said Thompson.

“At a Masters 1000, in the Indian Wells Tennis Garden here. It’s one of my favourite tournaments, I think a lot of players’ favourite tournaments, to play. To have a win like that is incredible. I’m really happy.”

NORRIE ADVANCES

Earlier, Briton Cameron Norrie cruised past Taiwan’s Tung-lin Wu 6-2 6-4 and Jil Teichmann upset her doubles partner and fellow Swiss Belinda Bencic 3-6 6-3 6-3 in second round action.

Norrie, the 2021 champion, broke Wu four times en route to the win and will next face either Italy’s Matteo Berrettini or Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel, who play later on Friday.

“Lots of good memories at Indian Wells,” Norrie said. “It’s nice to be through to the third round.”

The 10th seed is off to a terrific start this year having beaten world number two Carlos Alcaraz in the Rio Open final last month to claim his fifth singles title.

Norrie’s win comes a day after unseeded Britons Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu reached the second round at the ATP and WTA 1000 event in the Southern California desert with gutsy wins.

Norwegian Casper Ruud’s serve-forehand one-two punch proved too much for Diego Schwartzman as the third seed advanced 6-2 6-3 over a player who has given him trouble in the past.

“Everything sort of went my way,” said Ruud, who now has four wins and five losses against the Argentine.

“Early on there were a couple of line shots and net cords that went my way, so I kind of felt that maybe today is my day.”

On the women’s side, Teichmann beat birthday girl Bencic to reach the third round of the tournament for the first time.

Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko beat Croatian Donna Vekic, Latvian Jelena Ostapenko defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Czech Barbora Krejcikova breezed past Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Indian Wells, California; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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