As things heat up in the desert, Southern Californians are taking center stage, including an impressive upset on the men’s side and a strong performance in the women’s draw. The BNP is in full swing, and here’s the latest from Indian Wells!
On center court today, West Covina’s Ernesto Escobedo faced the highly touted fellow American Frances Tiafoe, who is fresh of an impressive championship performance in Delray Beach. Under the midday sun, Escobedo proved equal to the task, overcoming a sluggish Tiafoe, the World #64, with mighty power from the baseline. “Neto” looked confident throughout, overcoming his opponent by amassing 66% of second serve points, and 55% of second return points. It was the first time the two players had faced each other, with Tiafoe remaining in the game despite difficulty maintaining rallies, and the World #123 Escobedo earned a 7-5, 6-3 win on Stadium Court 1.
Across the plaza on Court 2, Rancho Palos Verdes’ CoCo Vandeweghe looked ready to cruise to victory after locking up a 6-0 first set opposite Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. Kanepi, hampered early by a wrapped knee and calf, loosened up in the second set and fell into a groove, making the 17-seed Vandeweghe earn a tough 6-0, 7-6(6) victory to advance to the second round.
Vandeweghe’s meets unseeded Maria Sakkari next, while Escobedo has an appointment with the 28-seed Feliciano Lopez.
Also remaining in the Men’s draw, Taylor Fritz (Rancho Santa Fe) meets 27-seed Andrey Rublev in Round Two, Jared Donaldson (Irvine) meets Roberto Bautista Agut and Santa Monica’s Sam Querrey meets the winner of Kukushkin/Zverev.
On the women’s side, US Open titlist Sloane Stephens will battle Victoria Azarenka in the second round.
The Bryan Brothers awarded SoCal doubles tandems with medals for their performance in the Doubles Run, created with the Bryan Bros. Foundation and the SCTA. Ten teams who placed at the top of Level 1-7 competition were rewarded with a fun-filled weekend of clinic, a fun mixed doubles event, pro tennis, and events with complimentary lodging… The brothers return the court on Saturday evening to begin their quest for the 2018 BNP crown… On Friday, Indian Wells Tennis Garden unveiled a new Roger Federer mural to join those around the Indian Wells grounds. Federer is seeded first and holds the current World #1 ranking.