BNP PARIBAS OPEN 2011
Nadal To Face Third Straight Qualifier; Querrey Upsets Verdasco
Indian Wells, U.S.A.
For the second time this season, Rafael Nadal cruised past Ryan Sweeting with the loss of four games, defeating the American qualifier 6-3, 6-1 in 68 minutes at the BNP Paribas Open. The Spaniard, who broke Sweeting four times from seven chances in Monday’s match, had also swept past the 23 year old in January at the Australian Open.
“I didn't play really impressive, but I played solid,” said Nadal, who has conceded just 11 points on serve through his first two matches. “I didn't have big mistakes. I think today the more positive thing is I finished much better than the beginning of the match.
“In general, I’m happy with the serve, happy with the backhand. Forehand is always my best shot, and I need to be aggressive to have good chances to be in the right position to have a good tournament.”
Nadal is chasing his third title at the year’s first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament after capturing the title in 2007 (d. Djokovic) and ’07 (d. Murray), and will next face a third straight qualifier, Somdev Devvarman. The Indian won the last four points of his third-round match to prevail against Belgian Xavier Malisse 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(5) in two hours.
The 26-year-old Devvarman is making his third main draw appearance at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, and defeated Adrian Mannarino and No. 19 seed Marcos Baghdatis in the first two rounds.
“It's one of those things when you're playing with confidence, playing well, you want to keep playing, and it doesn't happen too often,” said Devvarman. “I mean, for Rafa and Fed it does, but for the majority of the players it's one of those things you want to kind of ride the momentum and keep playing, keep playing with adrenaline, and hope for the best in your next matches.”
Devvarman is a two-time NCAA singles champion with the University of Virginia. He defeated John Isner in the 2007 final, and won the title again the following year. He reached his second tour-level final last month at the SA Tennis Open in Johannesburg (l. to Anderson).
“Rafa is obviously No. 1 in the world, won a lot of Grand Slams,” said Devvarman. “I have a lot of respect for the guy. He's one of my favorite tennis players, one of my idols, so when I'm out there I'm gonna do everything I can to win the match. I'm gonna compete as hard as I can and leave everything on the table.”
American Sam Querrey upset World No. 9 Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-4 to reach the fourth round for the first time in Indian Wells. Querrey went on a four-game run to build a set and 2-0 lead, and saved all eight break points faced on serve – including two in the final game – to claim his ninth win against a Top 10 player (9-26 lifetime).
The 24th-ranked Querrey won a career-high four titles last year, third-best on the circuit behind Nadal and Roger Federer, including the hard court title in Los Angeles (d. Murray). He made an 0-3 start to 2011, but has since won five of his past seven matches.
Querrey will face another Spaniard, No. 25 seed Tommy Robredo (watch interview), in the fourth round. Former World No. 5 Robredo dismissed American qualifier Donald Young 6-0, 6-4 in 68 minutes earlier in the day. Young had earned his place in the third round with a career-best win over World No. 5 Andy Murray on Saturday.