The five best ATP matches from the Indian Wells Masters
The ATP Tour returns to Indian Wells this week with a new champion crowned and priceless Nitto ATP Finals points up for grabs.
The tournament, usually held in March, is the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the season, but due to the Covid-19 disruption, it will take place in October this year.
After the 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic, this year’s Masters will last 11 days.
With previous champions Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin del Potro, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic all absent from the event The 2021 BNP Paribas Open is guaranteed to be the first singles title.
Don’t worry about the lack of classes, though. The draw does feature recently crowned U.S. Open champions Daniel Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Andy Murray, who have already received main draw wild cards.
In the 2019 final, Thiem beat Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
But what are the five best ATP matches at Indian Wells? Here are our favorites…
Del Potro vs Federer – 2018 final
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What a great match and opportunity for del Potro to win his first Masters 1000 title at the 2009 U.S. Open, beating the man he won his only Grand Slam title.
Facing Swiss star Federer, who is off to a 17-game winning streak to an unbeaten start to the season, del Potro emerged from a tight final set tie to save three match points dramatically. The Argentine’s victory cost the then-Grand Slam champion a record sixth title in California.
Del Potro has battled multiple wrist injuries over the years, but at Indian Wells, the “Tower of Tandil” showed his ability to compete with the best when healthy.
Del Potro defeated Federer 6-4, 6-7 (10-8), 7-6 (7-2).
Nadal v Zverev – 2016
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Nadal is going through the most tested period of his career and hasn’t gotten past the quarterfinal stage of a major in his last six majors at Indian Wells.
But the great Spaniard saved a match point in a three-set thriller over 18-year-old German Alexander Zverev.
Nadal defeated the NextGen starlet 6-7 (10-8), 6-0, 7-5 in the fourth round, finishing with 15 of his 16 points.
After breaking Nadal twice in the deciding set, Zverev served 5-4, one point shy of securing the biggest victory of his career.At match point, however, he missed a straightforward volley that he called “Easiest Shot” He has it all game.
Federer v Djokovic – 2014 final
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In battle between two of the Big Three, Novak Djokovic hit back with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) victory in a decisive tiebreaker to his great rival to lift the trophy.
Despite not being at his best and losing the first set, the Serb found a way to win the match for the third time.
Djokovic failed to make it 5-4 in the third quarter but showed great resilience to win the tiebreaker.
Fish v Nalbandian – 2008
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Home favorite Maddy Fish won a gripping quarter-final victory over the talented Argentine David Nalbandian.
Despite never getting past the fourth round at Indian Wells, the Americans started 2008 on a massive killing spree.
After beating the likes of Nikola Davydenko and Leighton Hewitt, Fishen beat Nalbandian in the final set tiebreak despite a hole in his sock and shoe!
World No. 98 Fisher beat Federer in the semifinals but lost to Djokovic in three sets in the final.
Nadal v Del Potro – 2013 final
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Nadal’s revival continues in the desert as he competes in his first hard-court championship in a year due to a knee injury.
He has added the Indian Wells title to the clay-court titles he has won in Brazil and Mexico since his comeback last month.
Del Potro is in the final, looking to go on to beat Murray and Djokovic.
The Argentine led Nadal by a set, 3-1, three games from the title, and then the Spaniard’s fighting qualities shined and he turned the game around.
Nadal led 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
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