Alexander Zverev on Tuesday won the clash of the two most recent Olympic gold medalists at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, holding off a fierce challenge from Andy Murray despite an equipment malfunction.
The 24-year-old German advanced to the fourth round, coming from behind in both sets to beat two-time Olympic gold medal winner Murray 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).
“I’m happy about the match, how everything went,” Zverev said. “I think it was a very entertaining match. It was pretty high level.”
Zverev won the Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games and former world No. 1 Murray won gold at the 2012 London Olympics and in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
Third-seeded Zverev moves on to play Gael Monfils of France who rolled over hard-hitting South African Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-2.
“You got to enjoy what you’re doing. You got to enjoy being out on the court. You got to enjoy playing tennis,” Zverev said. “After Wimbledon, I really enjoyed every second that I was on court.”
Murray tossed his racquet several times after missing easy shots. The outbursts were in contrast to Zverev, who maintained his concentration in the seventh game of the second set when the laces on his left shoe snapped.
He continued to play with the wobbly shoe, but then had to take an extra long break between games so he could swap out the laces.
In the night match, second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece came from behind to defeat Italian veteran Fabio Fognini 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the fourth round.
Tsitsipas next faces Australia’s Alex de Minaur, who defeated Chile’s Cristian Garin in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.
In the women’s action, unseeded Shelby Rogers upset US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez in a marathon three-setter on a day when more top seeds tumbled out.
Rogers outlasted Canadian teenager Fernandez 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) in 2 hours, 34 minutes to reach the quarter-finals.
Rogers moves on to play 24th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko, who upset second seed Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-4, 6-3.
Fernandez had to endure another loss on Tuesday, after Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh and Elise Mertens, beat her and Coco Gauff 7-5, 6-4 in the women’s doubles quarter-finals.
After the match, which lasted 1 hour, 27 minutes, Hsieh put on a dinosaur hat at the request of a member of the world No. 2 pair’s physiotherapy team.
“They were helping us for the whole year. They are working so hard and gave me this yesterday,” Hsieh said. “It was her birthday, so she requested, and I think: ‘OK, I’ll do it.’”
Hsieh and Mertens face third-seeded Japanese duo Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahar in the semi-finals tomorrow.
Additional reporting by staff writer, with CNA and AP
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