It’s Heating Up in the California Desert

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As the BNP Paribas moves into the second week in Indian Wells, California, things are really heating up. It’s not just that play has intensified, but so has the temperature. Daytime temperatures reached a high of 97 Fahrenheit with not a cloud in the sky. Now try playing in a packed stadium with no air moving on the court. Raise that temperature to 114 degrees courtside. Feeling that heat? I can tell you this, the players certainly are. High temperatures and high intensity play? Brutal! The competition is getting stiffer and there’s no relief in sight for the stifling temperatures gripping sunny Southern California. Here’s a look at the hot ATP matches around the grounds today:

After his shocking win on Saturday, Vasek Pospisil’s run towards the finals has ended. Pospisil goes down in three to Serb Dusan Lajovic. Winning against a Top 10 player then losing to an opponent sitting outside the Top 100 in his next match must take an emotional toll. What’s in store for this aggressive net player? Perhaps Miami can add some more points to his ranking.

Stan Wawrinka has reached his best round yet at the BNP Paribas. A tournamet which usually doesn’t bode well for the Swiss #1 player, Wawrinka is finding little resistance in 2017. Wearing a shirt emblazoned with “Stan the Man” must serve as a warning for his opponent. Perhaps his seven aces and not facing a single break point were the deciding factors in Wawrinka’s straight set win over German Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Lucky Loser Yoshihito Nishioka continues to make headlines. Let’s hope stamina is his strong suit. His nearly two-and-a-half hour match against Tomas Berdych looked dismal at the start, with Nishioka losing the first set 6-1. Winning the second set tie break seemed to reinvigorate him, and after breaking Berdych in the third, it was smooth sailing to 6-4. Smiling and waving to the crowd after his win, Nishioka is enjoying his time at the tournament. Waiting for him in the 4th round is Stan Wawrinka.

The last match of the day featured American John Isner battling fun Frenchman Gael Monfils. Only four aces in a match lasting slightly more than an hour forced Isner to play a lot of balls. With Monfils’ speed, hitting a winner against him is a challenge. While the predominantly American crowd supported their man, their love of Monfils was evident. Win or lose, Monfils is always fun to watch. Today’s 6-2, 6-4 win over USA’s #2 move Monfils to his 4th round match-up against Dominic Thiem. Youth versus creativity–this match will be one to watch.

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