Alcaraz advances with Fritz, Wawrinka in Indian Wells
Carlos Alcaraz has joined defending champion Taylor Fritz in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open after a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 victory over Tallon Griekspoor.
Former NBA players Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash sat in the front row to see Alcaraz advance in the Southern California desert, where he was a semi-finalist a year ago.
The 19-year-old from Spain can return to the world's No.1 ranking by winning the title here.
The fourth-seeded Fritz routed Sebastian Baez 6-1 6-2. Fritz served four aces and won 88 per cent of his first-serve points against the 30th-seeded Baez from Argentina.
"I'm trying to take it like it's any other tournament, but it is pretty tough to not know that I'm defending a title," Fritz said. "I'm getting constantly reminded of that."
Andy Murray's run ended with a 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 loss to 21-year-old Jack Draper.
"I've looked up to Andy since I was so young," Draper said. "I watched him win Wimbledon for the first time in 2013 and then I've had the opportunity to get to know him and practise with him often since 2019.
"He's a really special person, a great champion and a great human being, and it was a privilege to play against him on this court."
Murray has not won three consecutive matches at a Masters 1000 event since he won the title in Paris in 2016.
Also advancing was Stan Wawrinka, who defeated No.7 seed Holger Rune 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-5. American Tommy Paul beat ninth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz 4-6 6-2 6-4.
Rune saved a match point and rallied from 2-5 down to win the second-set tiebreaker, but Wawrinka recovered in the third to send his 19-year-old opponent packing.
"The last 45 minutes was tough," Wawrinka said. "I had the match in control and was playing well. I was putting a lot of pressure - I should have won the match way before."
Wawrinka reached the fourth round at Indian Wells for the first time since 2017, when he lost in the final. He turns 38 next month.
"All my career I know only one way," Wawrinka said. "To keep fighting, working, pushing myself and stay positive. I am super happy with the win."
No.8 Felix Auger-Aliassime avoided the upset bug and beat Francisco Cerundolo 7-5 6-4.