Pospisil Sets Murray Clash; Dzumhur Upsets Harrison

© Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open

Vasek Pospisil battled through to a second-round clash with World No. 1 Andy Murray on Thursday evening at the BNP Paribas Open as he came from behind to defeat Yen-Hsun Lu 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 30 minutes.

The Canadian, who came through qualifying, struck 10 aces and converted six of his nine break points to set up the clash with Murray, whom he last played in the 2015 Wimbledon quarterfinals.

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Having slipped as low as No. 137 in the Emirates ATP Rankings last November, Pospisil is looking for a good run in the desert as he bids to make a return to the Top 100. The Canadian, who was Top 25 three years ago, won the doubles title at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden two years ago with Jack Sock.

At four minutes past midnight, Damir Dzumhur held on for a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Ryan Harrison in two hours and 10 minutes. The Bosnian advanced to a second-round match-up with Albert Ramos-Vinolas as he broke Harrison in the final game of the match, having saved 10 of the 13 break points he faced.

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The No. 67-ranked Dzumhur is coming off a run to the Dubai quarterfinals, where he upset Stan Wawrinka in the first round.

Fabio Fognini staged an improbable comeback as he rallied from a 0-6, 2-5 deficit to defeat Konstantin Kravchuk 0-6, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and 19 minutes. The Italian goes on to face seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

One day after facing each other in the final round of qualifying, Yoshihito Nishioka and Elias Ymer crossed paths again in the main draw first round. With Ymer having won Wednesday’s contest 6-3, 6-1, he found Nishioka across the net again after he claimed a lucky loser spot in the main draw and this time it was the Japanese who prevailed, recording a 6-4, 6-1 victory in one hour and 48 minutes.

"Yesterday I wasn't playing not that great and I got down on myself mentally pretty quickly," said Nishioka. "I couldn't fight yesterday and that's why I lost so quickly. Today I could not lose to him again. I had to get revenge. I focused on how to win against him. I fought every point from the first point. I didn't lose my mentality and kept fighting. It was tough for him."

Next up for Nishioka will be 19th seed Ivo Karlovic. The 21 year old is a career-high No. 70 in the Emirates ATP Rankings this week after reaching the quarterfinals (l. to Nadal) as a qualifier last week in Acapulco.

Alexandr Dolgopolov, who beat Rafael Nadal en route to reaching the semifinals in the desert three years ago, is through to the second round after defeating Viktor Troicki 6-1, 6-4. The Ukrainian ended a five-year title drought last month when he defeated Kei Nishikori to win the Buenos Aires crown on clay.

Jeremy Chardy set a second-round clash with eighth seed Dominic Thiem after beating qualifier Radu Albot 7-6(6), 6-2 in one hour and 47 minutes. 

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