Indian Wells: World number one Andy Murray crashed out of the ATP Indian Wells Masters on Saturday, sent spinning in straight sets by Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil.
Pospisil, ranked 129th in the world, triumphed 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), sealing the biggest win of his career on his fourth match point to the delight a stadium court crowd won over by the underdog's aggressive serve-and-volley style.
For Britain's Murray, it was yet another disappointing performance in the California desert, where his best showing is a 2009 runner-up finish to Rafael Nadal.
Last year Murray was bundled out in the third round, but he was hoping for much better as he arrived fresh off his 45th career ATP title in Dubai.
"I don't know exactly why it is, because in practice here normally I play pretty well," Murray said. "And then some years I played well. Some years it just hasn't quite happened for me. I don't know exactly why that is."
Murray was particularly disappointed to have dropped the first set after twice going up a break.
But he hurt his own cause with seven double-faults, part of a poor serving night that he said was key to the defeat.
Pospisil had never beaten Murray in four prior encounters. The 26-year-old, who defeated Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun in the first round as Murray enjoyed a bye, notched his fourth career victory over a top-10 player and his first since 2014.
The Canadian, a Wimbledon doubles title winner with Jack Sock, was ranked as high as 25th in the world three years ago, but plummeted to as low as 135th in the world during a tumultuous 2016.
Late last year he began working with Australia's Mark Woodforde -- and he gave a shout-out to his new coach on court after wrapping up the biggest win of his career in one hour and 51 minutes.
Third-seeded Swiss Stan Wawrinka eased into the third round with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Italy's Paolo Lorenzi.
Wawrinka next faces Germany's Philipp Kohnschreiber, who was trailing Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (3/7), 1-1 when the Ukrainian retired.
Fognini shocks Tsonga
Italy's Fabio Fognini shocked French seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-4 Saturday to reach the third round of the ATP Indian Wells Masters.
Fognini, ranked 43rd in the world, notched his first win over eighth-ranked Tsonga in five career meetings.
He also ended the Frenchman's nine-match winning streak that had seen him lift trophies in Rotterdam and Marseille.
Tsonga likely won't be dwelling on the defeat with other matters to capture his attention. His wife is expecting their first child in April and he only decided at the last minute to make the trip to California.
In early matches, eighth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem eased past France's Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-4 while Japanese lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka upset 19th-seeded Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 6-3.
Nishioka withstood a dozen aces from the Croatian veteran, breaking him three times while saving all seven break points he faced.
Former finalist John Isner of the United States made it safely into the third round with a 7-6 (7/0), 7-6 (8/6) victory over Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin. And 11th-seeded Belgian David Goffin advanced with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Russian Karen Khachanov.
Published Date: Mar 12, 2017 11:58 am | Updated Date: Mar 12, 2017 11:58 am