Five time former champion Novak Djokovic has been knocked out of the first ATP Master’s series tournament of the year in Indian Wells as he suffered a shocking 4-6,4-6 loss at the hands of the German veteran Phillip Kohlschreiber on Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open.
However, the three time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain and five time champion Roger Federer advanced easily into the round of sixteen at the BNP Paribas Open.
After rain had halted their match on Monday evening, the world number one looked out of sorts playing in only his second match since winning a record seventh Australian Open title. In a match lasting one hour and thirty eight minutes, Kohlschreiber saved four of the five break points he faced and converted three times out of the four break point chances.
The 35 year old German who had upset the Acapulco champion Nick Kyrgios of Australia recorded his second win in ten matches against the Serb.
The man Djokovic was seeded to meet in the last four, third seeded Alexander Zverev lost an all German encounter against Jan-Lennard Struff 3-6,1-6. Rafael Nadal beat the 25th seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-3,6-1, while his arch rival Federer beat a weary countryman Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3,6-4 in what was a rematch of the 2017 final and the most eagerly awaited match of the day.
With the loss of Djokovic and Zverev in the top half of the draw, the highest ranked player in that half is the seventh seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem who was too strong for the Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3,6-1. Another Frenchman Gael Monfils, seeded eighteenth and a recent winner in Rotterdam, routed the Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-0,6-3.
The oldest player left in the draw, Ivo Karlovic who turned 40 on February 28th, ended the run of the qualifier from India, Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-3,7-6(3) on Monday. Former finalist Milos Raonic of Canadia rallied after dropping the first set against the American qualifier Marcos Giron 4-6,6-4,6-4.
There were mixed results for Japan as Yoshihito Nishioka came from a set down to beat Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7(2),6-4,7-6(5). The sixth seeded Kei Nishikori was upset by Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 4-6,6-4,6-3. In another upset Marin Cilic of Croatia was not surprisingly beaten by Denis Shapovalov of Canada 4-6,2-6. Former finalist John Isner of the U.S. beat the Argentine Guido Pella 6-3,6-4. Karen Khachanov won an all Russian match against Andrey Rublev 7-5,6-3.
Another Russian Daniil Medvedev, seeded 14th, also fell to the qualifier Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-3,6-2. Briton Kyle Edmund, seeded 22nd, beat Radu Albot of Macedonia 6-3,6-3. Completing the line up in the round of sixteen is little known lucky loser from Serbia Miomir Kecmanovic, ranked 130th in the world, who beat his fellow countryman, the Rio De Janeiro champion Laslo Djere 6-3,6-4.
The following is the line up for the round of sixteen with my pick mentioned first :-
Phillip Kohlschreiber (-) v. Gael Monfils (18)
Dominic Thiem (7) v. Ivo Karlovic (-)
Milos Raonic (13) v. Jan-Lennard Struff (-)
Yoshihito Nishioka (-) v. Miomir Kecmanovic (-)
Denis Shapovalov (24) v. Hubert Hurkacz (-)
Roger Federer (3) v. Kyle Edmund (22)
John Isner (8) v. Karen Khachanov (12)
Rafael Nadal (2) v. Filip Krajinovic (-)
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@]