Los Angeles Times
Murray unbeaten when pushed to limit
In winning in first round at Indian Wells, he continues streak in ultimate match sets.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray remained unbeaten this season in matches that go to a deciding third or fifth set by coming back to beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4 across more than three hours Thursday in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Murray, a 35-year-old who has an artificial hip, faced a pair of break points while serving at 15-40 and already trailing 4-3 in the final set. Convert either of those chances, and Etcheverry would have served for the victory.
But 2009 Indian Wells runner-up Murray managed to hold there, beginning a three-game, match-ending run against Etcheverry, a 21year-old from Argentina who is ranked 61st after reaching the final of a tournament in Santiago, Chile, last week.
So far in 2023, Murray is 5-0 in best-of-three-set matches that last three sets, along with 2-0 in best-of-five matches that go five. He is 0-3 in contests that conclude earlier.
Another man who owns three major titles, Stan Wawrinka, made a successful return to the hard-court tournament in the desert after four years away, beating qualifier Aleksandar Vukic 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.
Wawrinka, a 37-year-old who has been ranked as high as No. 3 and is now No. 100 after a series of operations to his left foot and left knee, hit 10 aces and won 28 of 33 firstserve points.
His previous match in Indian Wells was a loss to Swiss Davis Cup teammate Roger Federer in the third round in 2019.
Former No. 3-ranked and 2020 U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem was beaten 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) by Adrian Mannarino. The French player won the last three points of the tiebreaker to defeat Thiem, the 2019 Indian Wells winner whose ranking has dropped to No. 102 as he works his way back from right wrist and abdominal injuries.
Emma Raducanu, who won the 2021 U.S. Open as a teenage qualifier, was back on court Thursday for the first time since January after having tonsillitis, and fell behind 2-0 in each set during what would become a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Danka Kovinic.
Another 20-year-old, Ben Shelton, trailed 2-0 at the outset against Fabio Fognini before taking 12 of the last 15 games to win 6-4, 6-1.
Shelton, the 2022 NCAA singles champion, will take on No. 4 seed and defending champion Taylor Fritz next.