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Tennis News • American men on a roll at Indian Wells BNP Masters as Isner, Fritz, and Brooksby advance

John Isner of the US will face Grigor Dimitrov at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. EPA-EFE/JOHN G MABANGLO

By Ricky Dimon

Along with the summer hard-court swing, the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami is John Isner’s favorite time of year. Indian Wells specifically is Taylor Fritz’s favorite tournament.

Thus it is no surprise to see both Americans doing damage in the desert.

Isner and Fritz battled into the fourth round with respective victories on Tuesday. They took much different routes to get there, as Isner erased Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 after Fritz needed to survive a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(2) thriller against Jaume Munar. With those results, Isner is now 26-12 lifetime at the BNP Paribas Open while Fritz–a semifinalist last fall–has reached the last 16 in three of his last four appearances.

“I just really like the conditions here,” said Isner, who was the runner-up in 2012 (lost to Roger Federer) and a semifinalist in 2014 (lost to Novak Djokovic). “They suit my game — medium-paced hard court; kind of light air. It just really suits my game. I do enjoy being at home (in the United States). Out there on center court playing at 3:00 in 80-something degrees, not much wind, I can’t ask for anything better than that.

“Between this and Miami, I think there’s a reason why I’ve gotten a lot of wins at these tournaments: because I really enjoy the surface and I really enjoy my time at each one of these events.”

The 6’10” American will face Grigor Dimitrov for a spot in the quarterfinals in a section of the bracket vacated by Novak Djokovic.

Taylor Fritz of the United States in action against Jaume Munar of Spain during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, USA, 15 March 2022. The tennis tournament runs from 07-20 March 2022. EPA-EFE/RAY ACEVEDO

Fritz and compatriot Jenson Brooksby also have great opportunities to continue their runs. Up next for the world No. 20 is Matteo Berrettini, who has not been at his best since the Australian Open. As for Brooksby, he is coming off consecutive defeats of Karen Khachanov and Stefanos Tsitsipas to earn a shot at Cameron Norrie on Wednesday. Norrie is the defending Indian Wells champion, but he can’t be considered a bad draw this deep in a Masters 1000 event.

Combined with Tommy Paul’s upset of Alexander Zverev, it has been a huge fortnight so far for the American men. And it may not be over anytime soon.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.