Stefanos Tsitsipas faces a major test on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open as he continues his quest for his first trophy of the season in Indian Wells. As the third-round matches go on, they don't get much tougher, with No. 5 facing dynamic American Jenson Brooksby for the first time in a popcorn match at Stadium 1.
Brooksby has enjoyed a remarkable 12 months, rising from outside the Top 250 in the ATP Rankings to a current No. 43, the highest of his career. In that time, the 21-year-old reached tour finals in Newport and Dallas, advanced to the fourth round of the US Open and qualified for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, where injury prevented him from competing.
In his second appearance in Indian Wells, Brooksby defeated Roberto Carballes Baena and Karen Khachanov for the loss of just eight games. Meanwhile, Tsitsipas survived a major scare in his first match, beating wild card Jack Sock 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(5).
”It was a crazy battle; we both left everything out there,” Tsitsipas said after his victory over the American. “Jack played incredibly well at times, but in the end I was able to get the best of my game. I showed that he could play aggressive tennis and stay calm at the same time”.
The Greek, who reached the quarter-finals at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden last season, is looking to win his second Masters 1000 crown, after lifting the trophy at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in 2021. Spaniard Rafael Nadal will try to extend his best start to an ATP Tour season when he faces Daniel Evans.
The 35-year-old has been red h*t this year, winning three tour-level titles, including a record 21st Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open.
Tommy Haas speaks about Nadal
Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas recently compared Rafael Nadal's comeback to Roger Federer's return to action in 2017.
The German feels Nadal's incredible 15-0 start to the season is reminiscent of the sensational form Federer showed at the start of 2017. "Yeah, it's truly, truly incredible," Tommy Haas said. "I had the chance to actually have dinner with him the other night so I got a little bit more of the insights about his start to the season.
Kind of reminds me a little bit of you know, when Roger was injured for about six, seven months and he came back in 2017 and sort of you know, had a phenomenal start to the season when he won Australia, came here and to Miami to win that and then on to win Wimbledon." During the conversation, Haas highlighted the uncertainty associated with Nadal ahead of the season.
"I kind of have the same sense that when you are at this stage in your career after injury, not really knowing what it's going to be like, you're so happy, excited to be back and then winning the Australian Open again, getting to 21 after having so many you know, finals there as well that sort of didn't go his way right - against Djoker, which at one time he was up 4-2 in the fifth set, against Roger 3-1 up in the fifth set, against Stan Wawrinka, who he has never lost to and he was injured in that final, so I feel like he had so many setbacks there," Haas said.