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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 27 February 2024

Indian Wells Masters: Qualifier shows Casper Ruud the door

Casper is one of the players I really, really like on the tour so it’s very special to me, says Chilean Cristian Garin

Reuters Indian Wells Published 14.03.23, 05:22 AM
Casper Ruud.

Casper Ruud. File picture

Chilean Cristian Garin’s aggressive play overwhelmed Casper Ruud at Indian Wells on Sunday as the qualifier upset the third seed 6-4, 7-6(2) to book a spot in the last 16.

Garin pounded 27 forehand winners and fought off a second-set comeback attempt to dispatch the struggling Norwegian, who has yet to win consecutive matches this season.

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“I’m so happy with the way I played,” said Garin. With the win Garin, a former top 20 player now ranked 97th, improved his career record against Ruud to 3-1.

“Casper is one of the players I really, really like on the tour so it’s very special to me,” said the Chilean.

Ruud is still searching for the sensational form that saw him make the finals of the French Open and US Open and soar up the rankings last year.

Garin will next face Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina who beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

German 12th seed Alexander Zverev dug deep to beat Emil Ruusuvuori 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 despite admitting he was not at his best. “To be honest I thought he played much better than me throughout the match,” said Zverev.

Sakkari survives

On the women’s side, seventh-seeded Maria Sakkari kept her title hopes alive by battling back to beat Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Sakkari drew Kalinina to the net with a drop shot and then fired a backhand winner down the line on match point to complete the comeback.

The Greek leaned over and pumped her fists in celebration after sealing the win on a hot day in the Southern California desert.“I don’t mind winning ugly,” she told reporters. “It doesn’t really matter. I just give myself another chance to play better.”

Sakkari, a finalist in Indian Wells last year, will next face 17th seed Karolina Pliskova in the round of 16 after the Czech beat Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 7-5.

Third-seeded Jessica Pegula edged past Russia’s Anastasia Potapova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 while Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson dispatched Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

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