After getting one of the most comforting draws for a World No. 1 at Masters 1000 level in recent times, things only got easier for Andy Murray with a bye in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open 2017. However, in a surprising turn of events, he ended up crashing out of the tournament in the second round itself.
World No. 1 Andy Murray departed in the second round after losing to Canadian hard-hitter Vasek Pospisil 4-6, 6-7(5) in an hour and 51 minutes, on a day, which wasn’t particularly favorable for the seeds. After a tumultuous start from some of the seeded players on Day 6, onus was on Murray to make full use of his draw in an attempt to win his maiden Indian Wells title.
How it happened
Murray started off with a quick 4-2 lead against the Canadian qualifier, but his miserable serve, especially the second serve, didn’t let him capitalize. Momentum shifted to Pospisil soon as he reeled off 6 straight games from there, to have an astonishing 6-4, 2-0 lead. Pospisil earned two break point opportunities yet again in the very next game, but Murray steadied his ship momentarily and broke back to level the second set at 2-all.
Without having to face further complications on serve, both the players safely led to a tiebreaker where Pospisil once again emerged as the better player with a 6-2 lead, courtesy some aggressive baseline tennis. Murray saved 3 match points to trail 5-6 but couldn’t pull an Evgeny Donskoy, as Pospisil won the match with a forehand cross-court winner on his 4th match point.
A former doubles winner at Indian Wells, Pospisil had been on and off the tour for some time due to injuries and poor form, but his current coach, Mark Woodforde, a former pro, has been helping him turn the odds in his favor.
On his win, Pospisil had a big smile on his face with a look of sheer disbelief.
“If I pick a handful of great moments in my career, this is definitely one of them. To beat the No. 1 player and somebody as accomplished as Andy, one of the greats of the game, is amazing. It’s not everyday you get close to beat the No. 1 player in the world, I did well to stick with the process and not really get distracted by Andy being a bit off today.”
Andy Murray was dejected, naturally, but nevertheless, praised Pospisil for his tremendous show in the court.
2017 has been a year of upsets and surprises so far, with lesser known names grabbing the limelight more often than. And this win only reinstates the growing trend this season.