Andrey Rublev celebrates his semi-final win over Hubert Hurkacz at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Andrey Rublev, seen in Dubai last month, has set a match-up with Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter finals of Indian Wells. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

California: Matteo Berrettini saved three set-points to defeat South African Lloyd Harris 6-4 7-5 and American Taylor Fritz survived a nearly three-hour battle with Jaume Munar to advance to the Round of 16 at Indian Wells on Tuesday.

Russian world number seven Andrey Rublev had a much simpler outing against local hope Frances Tiafoe, closing out the men’s action for the evening with a 6-3 6-4 win in 70 minutes.

Rublev, 24, will face Hubert Hurkacz for a place in the quarter-finals with the 11th-ranked Pole ending the run of another American Steve Johnson 7-6(7) 6-3 earlier in the day.

Wimbledon finalist Berrettini won 88% of his first serve points and pounded his 12th ace on match point to seal the win on a sunny day in the Southern California desert.

The sixth-seeded Italian was forced to retire with injury during a match in Acapulco last month and looked rusty in his second-round clash against 18-year-old qualifier Holger Rune on Sunday.

He was sharper on Tuesday, mixing in deft lobs and drop shots along with his powerful forehand and serve.

The 25-year-old is the first Italian man to make the quarter-finals or better at all four majors and said his success on the sport’s biggest stages has sparked interest in tennis back in his home country.

“When I was a kid I dreamed of playing tennis, but not at this level. It still makes me feel like, really? It’s me?” Berrettini told Tennis Channel.

“In Italy I’m getting more and more support. A lot of people have started watching tennis. So it’s nice.” Berrettini will be the favourite when he takes on Serb Miomir Kecmanovic, who defeated Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets on Tuesday, in the fourth round.

Southern California native Fritz let out a mighty roar after he dealt the knockout blow to end his slugfest with Munar 6-4 2-6 7-6(2) in front of a supportive crowd.

Fritz lived dangerously in the first set, saving seven break points and captured it when the Spaniard double faulted for the first break of serve of the match.

Munar stepped up his serving in the second to force the tight third set, which Fritz won with his 11th ace of the match.

Selected results


Matteo Berrettini (ITA x6) bt Lloyd Harris (RSA x30) 6-4, 7-5

Alex De Minaur (AUS x29) bt Tommy Paul (USA) 7-6 (7/2), 6-4

Andrey Rublev (x7) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA x28) 6-3, 6-4

Hubert Hurkacz (POL x11) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 7-6 (9/7), 6-3

John Isner (USA x23) bt Diego Schwartzman (ARG x14) 7-5, 6-3

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x33) bt Alexander Bublik (KAZ x31) 6-3, 6-4


Simona Halep (ROM x24) bt Sorana Cirstea (ROM x26) 6-1, 6-4

Petra Martic (CRO) bt Liudmila Samsonova (x28) 7-6 (8/6), 6-4

Iga Swiatek (POL x3) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x15) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3

Madison Keys (USA x25) bt Harriet Dart (GBR) 6-1, 6-4

Paula Badosa (ESP x5) bt Leylah Fernandez (CAN x18) 6-4, 6-4

Elena Rybakina (KAZ x17) bt Viktorija Golubic (SUI x31) 7-6 (7/5), 6-2