Indian Wells Update: Murray Out, Gibbs Making a Run

Officially known as the the BNP Paribas Open, The Indian Wells Tennis Tournament is a by all accounts one of the biggest tournaments in the world when you put aside the four grand slams. Besides it’s massive implications for both the ATP and WTA tour it also boasts the second largest tennis-specific stadium in the world. As Andy Murray found out this week the weather conditions also make it one of the more unique tournaments on tour.

Murray lost to 53rd ranked Federico Delbonis 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-3) in the third round on Monday and he was clearly uncomfortable with the outrageously windy conditions. His first serve was regularly clocking in at 100 mph which isn’t going to get it done no matter how good the rest of your game is. He also blew a 4-1 lead in the third set and looked uneasy in the third set tiebreak.

BBC correspondent Russel Fuller summed up Murray’s performance well in an article for the BBC when he said, “The drop shot, with which Murray has thrilled and frustrated in equal measure over the years, was overused in the closing stages – a sign of Murray’s lack of confidence from the back of the court in these unique conditions. The ball flies through the desert air and can bounce up quite high – different conditions to Miami, where Murray will be heading for his next challenge.”

A big surprise on the women’s side is up-and-comer, and MTL spokesperson, Nicole Gibbs who is into the fourth round of The PNB Paribas Open after a few gutsy performances against formidable opponents such as Madison Keys and Yaroslava Shvedova. Gibbs is now in the top 100 and has won 10 of her last 11 matches. 

As we explained in a piece just a few weeks ago, college tennis is becoming a more viable path to ATP or WTA success and the two-time National Champ is proving that. With a win today over 9th seeded Petra Kovitiva, Gibbs will have reached back-to-back quarterfinals for the first time in her WTA career, which is a huge signal of intent for her 2016 season.


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