World No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime arrived to the Indian Wells hoping to continue his great form but his campaign ended in the third round with a shock loss to Botic van de Zandschulp. Auger-Aliassime, seeded at No. 9, saved match points in the second set to force a decider but van de Zandschulp kept his focus to beat the Canadian 7-6 (4) 6-7 (4) 6-3.
It was the second meeting between the two and van de Zandschulp's first win over Auger-Aliassime. Auger-Aliassime beat van de Zandschulp when they first met in Stockholm late last year. "It was a long match so there are many moments that I kind of look back on and regret, but I think once it was one set all, I think I needed to have a much better start in the third set considering that I had the momentum back," Auger-Aliassime said, per the ATP website.
"[That was] very poor for me to lose that first game [in the third set] the way I did."
Auger-Aliassime forced a decider but van de Zandschulp kept his focus
Van de Zandschulp had three match points on Auger-Aliassime's serve in the 12th game of the second set.
Two of those three match points were consecutive but van de Zandschulp failed to convert as Auger-Aliassime forced a tie-break, which he won to send the match into a decider. After losing the second set, van de Zandschulp broke Auger-Aliassime in the first and ninth game of the third set to book a three-set win.
"Of course you're a little bit frustrated if you have match points in the second set. It's not like I missed any shots, but he played some great points," van de Zandchulp said. "It's a little bit easier than when you are missing chances.
I thought I was playing well and that's how I continued in the third." Van de Zandschulp plays next Miomir Kecmanovic.