Los Angeles — Alexander Zverev notched his first career win against Andy Murray on Tuesday with a 6-4 7-6(4) victory that moved him into the fourth round at Indian Wells.
Former world No 1 Murray, who got the better of the German in their two previous meetings, jumped out to a 3-0 lead and seemed to unnerve the 24-year-old by standing well inside the court when returning his second serves.
But Zverev, seeded third, regrouped to win six of the next seven games and took the first set when Murray’s drop shot failed to get over the net.
Just as in the first set, Murray got an early break in the second but Zverev again battled back despite needing a lengthy break to lace up a pair of shoes after the shoelace on his first pair snapped.
Zverev had the match on his racquet serving at 6-5 but missed an overhead, a shot that bedevilled him all day, sending the set to a tiebreak.
Murray’s inconsistent play continued in the tiebreak and after a furious rally of volleys at the net he sent the final one wide on match point, the Scot slamming his racquet into the court in frustration.
Zverev has now recorded wins against three-time Grand Slam champion Murray, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal, who were known as the “Big Four” of men’s tennis until injury problems took their toll on Murray.
Zverev will next face France’s Gael Monfils, who beat SA’s Kevin Anderson 7-5 6-2.
World No 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas recovered from a shaky start to defeat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 2-6 6-3 6-4 to reach the last-16 at Indian Wells for the first time.
Fognini got off to a strong start by breaking Tsitsipas in the first game and breezed through the opening set thanks to his brilliant return of serves.
But French Open runner-up Tsitsipas clawed his way back into the contest on the back of a strong first serve to win the second set and force a decider.
The Greek second seed then completed the comeback victory to seal his place in the next round against Alex De Minaur, who defeated Cristian Garin in their third-round match.
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