Dan Evans beaten by Kei Nishikori in round two in Indian Wells

Kei Nishikori in action against Dan Evans

British number two Dan Evans was beaten 6-3 6-4 by Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.

With temperatures at Indian Wells in excess of 105 degrees, Evans broke in the opening game but world number five Nishikori hit back immediately and captured the set in 42 minutes.

Breaks were traded again at the start of the second before Nishikori sealed the match in an hour and 24 minutes.

Briton Kyle Edmund faces second seed Novak Djokovic late on Sunday.

Following the surprise defeat of world number one Andy Murray at the hands of qualifier Vasek Pospisil the previous evening, Evans, 26, produced a spirited performance, but some pinpoint accuracy from Nishikori saw him break again in game eight of the first set.

World number 41 Evans, who beat Dustin Brown in the previous round, continued to frequently match the quality of his Japanese opponent’s groundstrokes but gradually faded as the assured Nishikori moved through to face Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in round three.

Go to Source

Andy Murray loses to Vasek Pospisil in Indian Wells second round

Vasek Pospisil and Andy Murray

World number one Andy Murray made a shock second-round exit at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, losing 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to qualifier Vasek Pospisil.

The Briton, who had a first-round bye, was sluggish throughout the match against the Canadian world number 129.

Murray, 29, was broken four times as he struggled with Pospisil’s serve-and-volley style.

It was the first victory for Pospisil, 26, in five meetings with Murray.

Although he is a qualifier here, Pospisil has been ranked as high as 25th in the world and beat both Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans in Britain’s Davis Cup victory over Canada in February.

After Murray took a 4-2 lead early on, the Canadian hit back to win six successive games, claiming the first set before finally winning the second 7-5 in a tie-break, hitting a cross-court winner on his fourth match point.

“It was obviously a disappointing one as I had opportunities in the first set but I didn’t serve well enough,” Murray told BBC Sport.

“I served a few double faults, especially in the first set at important moments, which didn’t help things.

“He definitely started to play better in the second set, he was being aggressive and coming to the net and played some great reflex volleys at important moments and deserved to win.”

Murray claimed his maiden Dubai Championships title last week, but defeat here continues a poor run for the Scot at Indian Wells, having lost in the third round last year. His best result at the tournament was when he was runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2009.

However, he remains in this year’s doubles alongside fellow Briton Evans as they face Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer and Romanian Horia Tecau in round two.

Evans plays Japanese fourth seed Kei Nishikori in the singles later on Sunday. Listen to the match live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online from 18:00 GMT.

Pospisil faces Dusan Lajovic in the third round of the singles after the Serbian qualifier upset 30th seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-2 4-6 7-6.

Elsewhere, French seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was beaten by Italy’s Fabio Fognini but there were wins for third seed Stan Wawrinka, 10th seed Gael Monfils and 11th seed David Goffin.

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller in Indian Wells

World number one or not, Murray has often struggled in the desert. His serve let him down – he hit seven double faults and was broken four times in a row – and was ultimately second best to a man who is having a great year against the Brits.

Pospisil may be a qualifier ranked 129 in the world but his serve-and-volley game is mightily effective, as Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund learned to their cost in last month’s Davis Cup tie with Canada.

Unusually for Murray, he is now out of the singles but still in the doubles so he will stay in Indian Wells to partner Evans and to spend “lots of time” on the practice courts.

Go to Source

Johanna Konta beats Heather Watson in Indian Wells second round

Heather Watson and Johanna Konta

British number one Johanna Konta beat her compatriot Heather Watson 6-4 6-4 to reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

Konta, ranked 11th to Watson’s 108th, struggled for rhythm in the first set but dominated the second to lead 5-1.

British number two Watson served nine double faults before fighting back but 25-year-old Konta finally came through.

Konta, who had a first-round bye, goes on to face Caroline Garcia or Evgeniya Rodina in round three in California.

“It was definitely a brilliant experience for both of us as Fed Cup team-mates and I am very happy to have come through it,” said Konta, who was playing her first match in a month after a foot injury.

It was the first meeting on the WTA Tour between Britain’s two leading women.

Their only previous contest was at a second-tier tournament in Barnstaple in 2013 when Watson retired after losing the first four games.

Konta’s class tells in the end

Watson broke serve first but then gifted the advantage back as she made three double faults in the third game.

With both players making errors, the pair traded serves again before Konta struck the decisive blow by winning the ninth game.

She went on to hold her serve to love to take the first set.

Konta won eight points without reply at the start of the second set and looked on course for a quick victory.

Watson, who threw her racquet in frustration after making three more double faults in the sixth game, found herself 5-1 down before she rallied.

Konta served two double faults in the seventh game and won only two points as Watson, 24, won three consecutive games.

But the 11th seed composed herself to seal her place in the next round after 94 minutes.

Fellow Britons Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans play their opening matches in the men’s event later on Friday.

Go to Source

Fed Cup: Great Britain to face Romania on clay in Constanta

Johanna Konta (left) and Heather Watson (centre)

Great Britain will travel to the Black Sea city of Constanta for their Fed Cup World Group II play-off against Romania.

The home city of Romanian number one Simona Halep will host the tie on outdoor clay on 22-23 April.

Britain are looking to return to the elite level of the competition for the first time since 1993, but will go into the tie as heavy underdogs.

Halep, the world number four, has already said she will play in the tie.

Romania have four other players in the top 100.

GB captain Anne Keothavong’s team kept their promotion hopes alive last month with a 2-1 win over Croatia. and while she will hope to call on Johanna Konta, the world number 11 is not at her best on clay.

British number two Heather Watson is currently ranked 108 but has a strong Fed Cup record with 25 wins and only seven losses.

It is the third time Britain have reached the World Group II play-offs in the past six years, with the team then captained by Judy Murray losing to Sweden and Argentina in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Go to Source

Andy Murray: World number one 'has work to do' in 2017

Andy Murray

World number one Andy Murray says he has “work to do this year” after falling “behind” six other players over the course of 2017.

The rankings are calculated over a 12-month period but six of Murray’s rivals have accrued more points this year.

“When we start on 1 January, it’s back to square one,” said the Briton, who is in Indian Wells having won his first title of the year in Dubai last week.

The 29-year-old beat Fernando Verdasco to win the title for the first time.

But a fourth-round defeat by Mischa Zverev at the Australian Open in January means Murray has ground to make up on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Dominic Thiem and David Goffin in the 2017 rankings.