Upsets Highlight Men’s Qualifying Action

© 2017 Matt Hazlett/BNP Paribas Open

Denis Istomin retires while Ernests Gulbis falls short of main-draw qualification on Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open.   

Twelve main-draw slots remain up for grabs as men’s qualifying action continues at the BNP Paribas Open.

Day 2 saw several favorites fall in the opening round, including 69th-ranked Denis Istomin. The Uzbek, who in January shocked world No. 2 Novak Djokovic en route to a fourth-round showing at the Australian Open, was forced to retire against American Dennis Novikov trailing 7-6(6), 4-2. Latvian powerballer Ernests Gulbis, a quarterfinalist here in 2014, fell to 138th-ranked Kazakh Alexander Bublik 6-4, 7-6(5).

Also among the seeds upset on Tuesday were Jared Donaldson, who fell to fellow American Rajeev Ram 6-4, 6-4; Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky, who was felled by Italy’s Federico Gaio 7-6(3), 6-3; and Japan’s Go Soeda, a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 victim at the hands of Australian Alex De Minaur.

Wednesday will see several intriguing matchups with main-draw qualification on the line, including Ram vs. 2015 doubles winner here Vasek Pospisil, Bublik vs. top seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, and Illya Marchenko vs. veteran Julien Benneteau.