Dolgopolov Stuns Nadal at Indian Wells
Alexandr Dogopolov posted one of the best wins of his career last night, upsetting world No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) in the third round of Indian Wells.
The Ukrainian had served for the match at 5-3 in the final set, but was broken at love, double faulting on break point, to let Nadal get back on serve. It’s not often that you get two cracks at the top player in the world, but Dolgopolov did, digging out of a 2-4 hole in the deciding tiebreak to post his first win over Nadal in six tries.
Dolgopolov has been one of the most successful players in the three-year history of the Winston-Salem Open, reaching at least the quarterfinals all three years, including a semifinal appearance in 2013. After a slump that saw him drop out of the Top 50 last fall, he has regained his form and should reenter the Top 30, if not higher, depending on how far he goes in the Indian Wells draw. Fabio Fognini is next in the Round of 16.
Draw Opening Up for Isner
The Indian Wells draw shows opportunity for two-time Winston-Salem Open champion John Isner, who is one of only eight seeded players remaining in the bottom half after a rash of injuries and upsets.
The withdrawal of Juan Martin Del Potro and early losses by Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga leave second-seed Novak Djokovic as the only elite player in the bottom half. To set up a potential semifinal matchup with Djokovic, Isner would have to beat only one higher-ranked player, eighth-seeded Richard Gasquet, though red-hot Grigor Dimitrov also lurks as a potential quarterfinal opponent.
Isner will take the Stadium 1 court in tonight’s feature match against 2013 Winston-Salem Open quarterfinalist Yen-Hsun Lu. The action will start at 10 p.m. Eastern on ESPN3.