Former world number one Andy Murray notched a milestone win and US Open champion Emma Raducanu made a victorious return from injury in a one-two punch for Britain on Friday at the Indian Wells WTA and ATP Masters hardcourt tennis tournament.
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion now ranked 88th in the world and playing on a wildcard invitation, rallied after a dismal first set to beat Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round.
Raducanu, seeded 11th, reached the women’s third round with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 victory over France’s Caroline Garcia.
Murray claimed the 700th ATP match win of his career.
“Reaching that number is a really, really good achievement,” said Murray, who is one of just four active players to hit the milestone after Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
“It has not been easy getting there,” he added, noting that he had reached 600 match wins in 2016 before his victory rate was slowed in large part by injury.
Andy Murray struggled early on
In the early going, it didn’t look like a landmark day for Murray, who dropped the first set in just 28 minutes.
Unable to convert two early break points, Murray would eventually be broken at love four times before bearing down in the third set to seal the win.
It was another smidgen of revenge against the 106th-ranked Japanese player, who stunned Murray in the second round of the Australian Open before Murray turned the tables in the first round at Doha.
Raducanu got off to a strong start in a match she didn’t expect to be playing when a hip injury forced her out of a match in Guadalajara two weeks ago.
Raducanu, who was hindered by a blisters at the Australian Open and was playing just her fifth match of 2022.
“It has been challenging,” said the 19-year-old, who was also slowed by Covid-19 in December.
“The injuries, the blisters, I think they were all a knock-on effect of getting Covid and not training for three weeks.”
She got off to a smooth start, opening a 3-0 lead on the way to pocketing the first set in 26 minutes and breaking Garcia in the opening game of the second.
But former world number four Garcia clawed back, winning five straight games to take the set before Raducanu regrouped to cruise through the third.
“She plays extremely powerful and fast,” Raducanu said.
“As soon as I let up, she climbed on top of it straightaway. I knew I had to make some adjustments in the third set.”
Raducanu said she crossed paths with Murray as she was taking the court. Seeing him win had only strengthened her own resolve, she said.
“It’s always like a weird one when you’re following someone who has just won,” she said.
“You’re like, I really want to do the same. It kind of gives you the extra fuel.”
Results on Friday in the Indian Wells WTA and ATP Masters hardcourt tennis tournament (x-denotes seeded player, players representing Russia and Belarus are banned from competing under the name or flag of Russia or Belarus until further notice):
Holger Rune (DEN) bt Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-3, 6-2
Facundo Bagnis (ARG) bt Henri Laaksonen (SUI) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) bt Liam Broady (GBR) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Botic van de Zandschulp (NED) bt Tennys Sandgren (USA) 6-4, 6-2
Jaume Munar (ESP) bt Shang Juncheng (CHN) 6-3, 6-4
Kamil Majchrzak (POL) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-1, 7-5
John Millman (AUS) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 7-6 (8/6), 6-4
Tommy Paul (USA) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-4, 6-4
Dominik Koepfer (GER) bt Benoît Paire (FRA) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
Brandon Nakashima (USA) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-2, 7-6 (7/4)
Steve Johnson (USA) bt Daniel Altmaier (GER) 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)
Oscar Otte (GER) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA) 6-2, 1-6, 6-3
Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-3, 6-3
Sam Querrey (USA) bt Tallon Griekspoor (NED) 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-4
Andy Murray (GBR) bt Taro Daniel (JPN) 1-6, 6-2, 6-4
Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt David Goffin (BEL) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3)
Anna Kalinskaya bt Alize Cornet (FRA x33) 6-4, 0-6, 6-2
Sorana Cirstea (ROM x26) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-4, 7-5
Simona Halep (ROM x24) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
Coco Gauff (USA x16) bt Claire Liu (USA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/4)
Emma Raducanu (GBR x11) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
Petra Martic (CRO) bt Tamara Zidanšek (SLO x19) 7-5, 7-6 (8/6)
Liudmila Samsonova (x28) bt Ann Li (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
Danka Kovinic (MNE) bt Karolína Plíšková (CZE x7) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
Iga Swiatek (POL x3) bt Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) 5-7, 6-0, 6-1
Clara Tauson (DEN x29) bt Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 6-4, 6-3
Daria Kasatkina (x23) bt Katie Volynets (USA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
Harriet Dart (GBR) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x12) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Belinda Bencic (SUI x22) 6-4, 6-3
Madison Keys (USA x25) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
Alison Riske (USA) bt Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP x8) 0-6, 6-3, 6-1
Angelique Kerber (GER x15) bt Zheng Qinwen (CHN) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse