Anything Is Pospisil: Canadian Shocks Murray
Qualifier scores career-best win on Saturday at Indian Wells
Qualifier Vasek Pospisil claimed the biggest win of his career in dramatic fashion on Saturday night at the BNP Paribas Open as he stunned World No. 1 Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6(5) to reach the third round in Indian Wells.
"If I pick a handful of great moments in my career, this is definitely one of them," said Pospisil. "To beat the No. 1 player and somebody as accomplished as Andy, one of the greats of the game, is amazing."
The Canadian has endured a turbulent 12 months, seeing his position in the Emirates ATP Rankings drop to No. 135, having been as high as No. 25 three years ago. But under the guidance of new coach Mark Woodforde, whom he began working with in late 2016, Pospisil looked to be back in his best form as he held on to defeat Murray in one hour and 51 minutes.
Having won three matches to reach this stage, Pospisil worked hard to stay with Murray in his fifth meeting with the Scot, whom he had never beaten before. The 26 year old twice fought back from a break down before breaking Murray in the ninth game and sealing the opener.
From 2-4 down in the first set, Pospisil won six straight games to open up a set-and-a-break lead before Murray mounted a comeback. The Scot leveled in the fourth game before forcing the second set into a tie-break. Pospisil came out attacking and earned four match points at 6-2. Murray didn’t concede without a fight, saving the first three match points, but Pospisil held his nerve to take his fourth opportunity with a forehand winner.
"Of course some thoughts come in, especially in the second set," said Pospisil. "It's not every day you're close to beating the No. 1 player in the world."
Pospisil won the doubles title at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden two years ago (w/ Sock) and will look to reach the singles fourth round here for the first time when he faces Dusan Lajovic on Monday.
Murray expressed disappointment with the loss afterwards, but was also full of praise for his opponent.
“I didn't serve particularly well tonight, which didn't help things. And then in the second set, he started to play more aggressively,” said Murray. “I was giving myself decent looks at passing shots. I missed a few tonight. He also came up with some really good reflex volleys on important moments and important points.”
Elsewhere, Gael Monfils overcame a hot start from Barbados qualifier Darian King to record a 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 victory in just under two hours. The 10th-seeded Frenchman, who goes on to face John Isner, was a quarterfinalist in the desert last year (l. to Raonic) and is bidding to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown.