American Tommy Paul shows world No.3 Zverev the exit at Indian Wells

World No. 3 Alexander Zverev of Germany made an early exit from the BNP Paribas Open, losing to Tommy Paul of the US 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2) in the second round on Monday (IST).

It was the 24-year-old Paul’s biggest win of his career and helped the American reach the third round in Indian Wells for the second time.

“I like playing here,” said Paul after the match. “I like the conditions. The fans really support (the American players) here, and that’s why we all love it. It feels like a real home tournament.”

Paul reached the fourth round here in 2021, beating then-world No. 5 Andrey Rublev of Russia on the way to his best run at an ATP Masters 1000 event, according to atptour.com.

This was Paul’s fourth victory over a top-10 opponent, a tally that includes a previous meeting with Zverev in Acapulco, Mexico in 2020.

“I would hope that I can be in the top-10. That’s what it takes, you’ve got to beat more top-10 players and I played well today, so I’m happy,” added Paul.

“I never felt out of the match,” said Paul. “My game plan was to play more aggressive, and see if he comes up with the goods,” added Paul.

Paul will meet Alex de Minaur of Australia in the third round, after the 29th seed defeated country-mate John Millman. De Minaur, who had reached the fourth round at Indian Wells for the first time in 2021, broke Millman three times on way to a 7-6(4), 6-3 win.

Meanwhile, star Italian player Matteo Berrettini also made it to the third round at Indian Wells with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over qualifier Holger Rune of Denmark.

“It was definitely a tough match – I expected it,” Berrettini said after the win. “He’s improving every time I see him. He’s going to have a bright future. “Today I think I was able to manage the strokes. I’m really happy, because I wasn’t feeling that comfortable in the court.”

The No. 6-ranked Berrettini will next face South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 winner over Facundo Bagnis of Argentina.

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