Tennis

Murray defeated Alcaraz and will now face Zverev.

Tsitsipas, the second seed, beat Pedro Martinez of Spain 6-2, 6-4 to advance in the combined WTA and ATP hard court event.

Andy Murray battled to beat adolescent Carlos Alcaraz in an intergenerational match at the Indian Wells Masters on Sunday, joining Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev in the third round.

Murray, who has hailed Alcaraz as a future world No. 1, beat the promising 18-year-old 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to set up a clash with third-seeded German Zverev, who beat American Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

Tsitsipas, the second seed, beat Pedro Martinez of Spain 6-2, 6-4 to advance in the combined WTA and ATP hard court event.

Murray, who is currently recovering from injuries that have dropped his world ranking to 121, raced to a 3-0 lead until Alcaraz, who reached the quarterfinals of the US Open last month, found his range and recaptured a break.

The Spaniard broke Murray for the second time in the first set after saving a set point.

The former world No. 1 used a rare underarm serve on game point to take a 2-1 lead in the second set, and he held on this time.

“Why not try it and see if I can move him forward a little bit again if he’s going to stand that far back and I’m getting no love from the court and the conditions?” Murray remarked of his first underarm serve in an ATP match.

“Obviously, I wasn’t expecting to get an ace out of it,” he added.

In the second set, the 34-year-old British player, who received a wild card into the draw, made only eight unforced errors to Alcaraz’s 14.

To start the third set, he broke 30th-seeded Alcaraz, then saved four break points in the next game to keep the lead.

Murray had a comfortable cushion following a second service break, and it was the teenager who needed late treatment on an ailing foot before the oft-injured Murray secured the triumph after three hours and four minutes.

“I thought he played better in the second set,” Murray remarked. “I felt like I had more possibilities in the first set but didn’t get them, but I’m delighted with the way I fought.”

Murray will face Zverev in the third round, who has won titles in Madrid and Cincinnati this season.

Zverev hit 28 wins against Brooksby, but he had 14 more unforced errors than his lively opponent.

“I couldn’t see the ball clearly on one side of the court, especially in the second set, due of the sun,” Zverev said. “It wasn’t an easy match, but I’m thrilled to have made it to the third round and to be facing Andy today.”

Murray was the only member of the men’s tennis “big four” — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Murray – whom Zverev had yet to defeat.

“I’m hoping to change that,” Zverev expressed his desire.

Italy’s fifth-seeded Matteo Berrettini advanced as well, defeating Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo 6-4, 7-5.

Jannik Sinner of Italy, seeded tenth, defeated Australian John Millman 6-2, 6-2.

Albert Ramos Vinolas of Spain pulled off an upset by defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 6-4, 6-2.

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