After two days of action without TV, the second round of the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) starts today with not only the coming into action of the big guns but also, yes, TV broadcast!
About time, as we missed quite a lot of drama and many good matches over the last two days, as far as the ATP was concerned, and tons of drama in the WTA as well. Considering all this, the TV broadcast finally making its appearance will be a blessing. I think it would be time for the tournament to consider adding broadcast for the full event to join the Hawk Eye on all courts…
First round recap
There isn’t much to say about the first round of action, as it was impossible to watch anything but the live scores if we weren’t on location. However, last night came a huge surprise, as not only Bernard Tomic was defeated by Gilles Muller (which, in itself, is only a semi-surprise considering that Muller is always a tricky opponent), he did so with a resounding third-set bagel, thus Muller winning 4-6 7-6(4) 6-0 and going to face Janko Tipsarevic in the second round.
There weren’t really any other surprises, except perhaps Sergiy Stakhovsky defeating Alex Bogomolov Jr (who really does not have a good start this season) in three gruelling sets, 7-6(7) 4-6 7-6(3), and Lukasz Kubot defeating Ivo Karlovic 6-4 6-2, and this one more for the scoreline than for the identity of the winner.
I don’t consider the wins of Denis Kudla, Steve Darcis, Matt Ebden, and Grigor Dimitrov as surprises, as Tobias Kamke has been slumping for over a year now (l. to Kudla 2-6 7-6(3) 6-4 and even served for the match in the second set), Donald Young doesn’t have a good start in 2012 (l. to Darcis 6-2 3-6 7-6(5)), Igor Kunitsyn is not the most consistent of players and Ebden has a really good start in 2012, as well as ended 2011 in style ( Kunitsyn l. to Ebden 6-1 4-6 6-4). Finally, Ivan Dodig shows more and more that his 2011 season was powder in the eyes and is far from consistent so far this season, as Dimitrov (now officially coached full-time by Patrick Mouratoglou), more talented and more solid, cruised to a 6-1 6-4 win.
Not many surprises in the first round of action, as you see.
In come the big guns
The second round starts today in the ATP portion of the tournament and with it, 16 of the 32 seeds (the other half plays tomorrow), among which Novak Djokovic (vs Andrey Golubev) and Andy Murray (vs Guillermo García-López). Neither should have any problem in booking their round 3 meetings, although in both cases, their potential opponent remains to be seen.
If the logic favours seeds Kevin Anderson (to face Djokovic) and Viktor Troicki (to face Murray), the reality is that Anderson is facing the always dangerous (and unpredictable) Philipp Kohlschreiber. As for Troicki, not only is he slumping, he is also facing a crowd favourite and very talented opponent in Ryan Harrison and an upset is definitely possible.
Are there any possible upsets? Of course, but to me, there shouldn’t be many. Except for Ryan Harrison, the matches in which upsets are the most possible are the ones opposing Lukasz Kubot to Andy Roddick (and again, it depends on Roddick’s physical form), and the one between Matt Edben and Julien Benneteau (and this just because Edben is in great shape, but so is Benny).
The rest of this half should not, I think, bring any surprises. However, since it’s tennis, we never know. It takes only a bad day for one and/or a very good day for another and it’s a whole other business.
Indian Wells on TV (at last)
As I mentioned, today starts the broadcast of the tournament, as far as the ATP is concerned, at least. In Canada, it will be live on Sportsnet One starting at 2PM ET. In the US, it will be live on Tennis Channel, also starting at 2PM ET, as well as on ESPN3.com. In Argentina, it’s live on ESPN+ at 4PM local and at 8PM local on ESPN and ESPN HD.
You can see the full schedule of play on the right of the page.
Reminder: Canada and the US are going into DST at 2AM ET. Moving the clock forward, losing an hour of sleep, but also one hour difference less with the other time zones.