Number One Murray Knocked out

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The first night match on Saturday on stadium court at BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells featured world number one Andy Murray of Great Britain vs. Vasek Pospisal of Canada.  This is the fifth head to head meeting between the two, with Murray not dropping a set.  The last meeting was at the 2015 Wimbledon quarterfinals, but Pospisal's fortunes have fallen since then and he had to play in the qualifying matches to meet Murray here in the second round.  The slightly slower night conditions should help Murray's style but Pospisal's aggressive serve and volley style pressured Murray and kept the first set tight, with players exchanging early breaks and then Pospisal broke again in game seven and served out set one coming to the net on every point winning 6-4. The capacity crowd of the second largest tennis stadium in the world sensed a huge upset in the making.  Pospisil began set two like he finished set one, breaking Murray and holding serve with big first serves, consistent volleying, and deep cross-court forehands.  But Murray, testy and barking at his corner of coaches and wife from the start, peeled off some right elbow support and got serious by breaking back and holding his own serve.  The players continued holding their own serves, forcing a deciding tiebreaker.  Pospisil got an early mini break on a Murray double fault and then another on some sloppy play, giving Pospisal a 6-3 advantage with two serves to close it out.  Murray, however, refused to go quietly and fought back, winning both match points against him.  Murray served at 5-6 and Pospisal came through on another clutch approach and volley for the biggest win of his career.  Murray has shown some inconsistency early in the 2017 season and he has yet to fully embrace the added pressure of being number one.

Written by Evan Fabricant
Photos by Dana Gardner
“Bulgaria SEGA” newspaper

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