Day 8 Action:
- Nishikori Cruises Past Evans In Opener
- Nadal Stays Cool To Dispatch Pella
- Federer Surges Into Indian Wells Third Round, Fritz Records First Top 10 Win
- Djokovic Sets Blockbuster del Potro Clash
- Muguruza Denies American Teen; Meets Svitolina Next
- Marathon Matches Open Women's Sunday Action
- Karolina Powers On
With the bright sun shining over the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Day 7 action at the BNP Paribas Open opened with some stern tests of endurance and grit.
No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori started things off on Stadium 1 with a straight-set victory over Daniel Evans, before Rafael Nadal took his turn on the baking courts against Guido Pella, also advancing in straight sets (on-court temp: approximately 120 degrees).
"I tried to play solid," said Nadal, a three-time BNP Paribas Open champion. "I tried to find the rhythm, and I think I did. For moments I played well; for moments I played a little bit less well. The important thing is I won, and I won in straight sets. I had some good feelings for a lot of moments."
For the women, the day started with nail-biting marathons as Caroline Garcia of France and Time Bacsinszky of Switzerland won third-set tiebreaks to reach the third round. Garcia next plays two-time runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova, while Bacsinszky, for clawing out the win after three hours and 21 minutes, books herself a date with No. 3 seed Karolina Pliskova. (View: Women’s Singles Draw)
Sandwiched between Group of Death matches on Stadium 1 was an inspiring performance by American wildcard Kayla Day, who pushed reigning Roland Garros champ Garbiñe Muguruza to three sets before falling 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. In a twist, Day is the guardian of a dog named after her opponent.
"We were watching [Muguruza] playing the Australian Open. This was, like, four years ago on TV," said Day in her press conference.
"And we had just rescued this little dog from the shelter, and my mom was, like, 'Wow, this girl is really good. I really like her. I think I'm going to name my dog after her.'"
Stock up on the popcorn: Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios will meet for the first time at tour level after each won their respective second-rounders. "I'm looking forward to it," said Kyrgios about Zverev. "We have been obviously close mates for a long time. I played him once in juniors, and I thought he had a big game then. He's obviously put it together. He's had some great results, beaten some big names."
For his part, Zverev is ready for the challenge.
What They Said: Nadal, on Murray’s early exit...
"Yeah, that's the sport, no? Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose. Yesterday probably Andy didn't play his best match, and Vasek served very well. So then you arrive -- you go to a tiebreak, and anything can happen.
"Yeah. Andy just came here winning in Dubai, so probably he will be playing very well in Miami, no?
"It's true that in Indian Wells during his career he had some bad matches maybe, and so happens sometimes. Sometimes you don't feel comfortable in one event, and it's difficult to overcome that. Happened for me a lot of times for me in Cincinnati, and I was not able to find the rhythm, and finally I won once.
"But when you have bad feelings in one event, sometimes it's difficult to overcome that.
Shot of the day: Fan favorite Juan Martin del Potro pulls out this entertaining winner against fellow Argentine Federico Delbonis in Stadium 1.