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Murray Magic Hits the Desert, Berrettini and Sinner Help Turin Hopes With Indian Wells Tennis Wins

Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts between games in his match against Carlos Alcaraz of Spain at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 10 October 2021. EPA-EFE/RAY ACEVEDO



By Ricky Dimon


Andy Murray has never won the BNP Paribas Open, but it could be where his comeback from hip surgeries really picks up steam.

Murray earned one of his biggest wins of the season when he ousted No. 30 seed Carlos Alcaraz 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round on Sunday afternoon. The 34-year-old Scot battled to victory in three hours and three minutes of play.

Andy Murray of Great Britain in action against Carlos Alcaraz of Spain at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 10 October 2021. EPA-EFE/RAY ACEVEDO



“I think so,” Murray said during his on-court interview when asked if it was one of his best wins since his serious injury issues began. “He’s obviously got so much potential–so much firepower. I had to fight extremely hard coming back from a set down. I’m happy with the way that I fought. He’s a top, top young player.

“It was a brilliant atmosphere. I enjoyed it. It’s why I’m still playing.”

Although the 2021 season is coming down the home stretch, Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner could still be playing for more than a month. Both Italians are in prime contention for the Nitto ATP Finals and they boosted their chances with wins on Sunday in the desert. Berrettini took care of Alejandro Tabilo 6-4, 7-5, while Sinner destroyed John Millman 6-2, 6-2.

“It would be a really nice thing to end the year,” said Berrettini, who is sixth in the 2021 race. “I didn’t expect it when I started the year, but now I’m in a good position. I have been in London and I know how great it was, and I think having it in Italy would be great for me, for the crowd, and for tennis in general. It would mean a lot to everybody, with Jannik as well. It is just showing that Italian tennis is really healthy; a lot of players are coming up and playing well.”

Matteo Berrettini of Italy reacts in his match against Alejandro Tabilo of Chile at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 10 October 2021. EPA-EFE/RAY ACEVEDO



Sinner has a lot more work to do, as he is currently outside the cut line in ninth place–one spot behind Hubert Hurkacz, who defeated him in the Miami final.

“I am not thinking about that goal at the moment, to be honest,” the 20-year-old admitted. “I am just trying to be focused on every match that I play, every point that I play, and then we’ll see at the end of the year what is coming. I am just happy that I played my first match today in a good way.”

Jannik Sinner of Italy holds his trophy after winning the final match against Gael Monfils of France at the Sofia Open ATP 250 tennis tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria, 03 October 2021. EPA-EFE/VASSIL DONEV


Berrettini awaits Taylor Fritz on Tuesday, while Murray is set for a showdown against Alexander Zverev.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.