Andy Murray crashes out at Indian Wells
There's something about playing in the Southern California desert that gives Andy Murray fits. He was upset in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday, losing 6-4, 46, 7-6 (3) to 53rd-ranked Federico Delbonis of Argentina.
Murray was a losing finalist at Indian Wells in 2009 and has reached the quarter-finals five times, but has twice lost in his opening match in recent years and is 25-11 in the event. He's never been comfortable with the high bounces and quick-flying balls in the dry air. He's changed his preparation over the years, arriving several days early to practice or coming in just before the tournament begins. He even has his rackets strung four or five pounds tighter just for Indian Wells. "I have never really felt that I played my best tennis here," he said. "I still feel like I can't really go for my shots. I feel like when I do, I make mistakes long. I have tried many different things. I don't know exactly why it is."
Victoria Azarenka, the 2012 Indian Wells winner, and thirdseeded Stan Wawrinka were to play night matches.
Delbonis scored the biggest win of his career, outlasting the second-seeded Murray in a 2hour, 46-minute struggle. Three years ago, Delbonis defeated then-fifth-ranked Roger Federer in the semifinals at Hamburg. "With the crowd, it's a little bit more pressure, but I'm enjoying that kind of matches," Delbonis said. "It's like a challenge every time, and I happy to get it."
The left-handed Argentine rallied from 4-1 down in the third set, winning three straight games for a 4-all tie. He held serve to tie it 5-all and broke Murray in the next game to go up 6-5. Murray broke back to force the tiebreaker, but not without a fight by Delbonis, who trailed 15-40 and got to deuce before sending a backhand wide to let Murray even the set, 6-all. "I just didn't feel comfortable going for my serve," said Murray, who had no aces and three double-faults. "I felt like every time I went for it I missed it. I didn't have control on that shot at all."