Indian Wells, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Alexandr Dolgopolov registered the biggest win of the tournament when he stunned World No. 1 and defending champion Rafael Nadal, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5), Monday at the BNP Paribas Open.
It was Dolgopolov’s first victory over Nadal, having dropped all 10 sets played in five previous meetings. The Ukrainian scored his second win over a Top 5 opponent in less than a month after springing the upset over David Ferrer in the Rio de Janeiro semi-finals.
The Kiev native recovered after being broken in the opening game of the match, eventually capturing the first set on his second set point when Nadal struck a forehand long. The Spaniard would break in the sixth game of the second set, leveling the match and forcing a deciding set.
Nadal was denied a ninth consecutive semi-final result in the Coachella Valley. It was his second defeat of the year after succumbing to Stanislas Wawrinka in the Australian Open final.
Dolgopolov will next face Fabio Fognini in a rematch of their Rio quarter-final. Fognini, the No. 13 seed, saved two match points in a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 win over 23rd-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils earlier Monday.
Fifth seed Andy Murray rallied from down in both the second and third sets to overcome fast-rising Czech Jiri Vesely, 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4, and advance against 10th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic, who beat Alejandro Falla, 6-4, 6-3.
Four-time champion Roger Federer edged Russian Dmitry Tursunov, 7-6(7), 7-6(2), to book a spot against Tommy Haas, who defeated Kei Nishikori.
Meanwhile, Wawrinka needed just 49 minutes to dispatch Andreas Seppi 6-0, 6-2 and advance to the Round of 16 against Kevin Anderson, a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 winner over lucky loser Evgeny Donskoy.
On the women’s side, Camila Giorgi stunned No. 5 Maria Sharapova, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, while No. 8 Petra
Petra Kvitova beat No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.
Other winners were top seed Li Na, No.12 Dominika Cibulkova, No.17 Sloane Stephens, Alisa Kleybanova, Aleksandra Wozniak and No. 20 Flavia Pennetta.