Berrettini beats Harris, Fritz survives Munar at Indian Wells

Indian Wells, Matteo Berrettini saved three set points to defeat South African Lloyd Harris 6-4 7-5 and American Taylor Fritz survived a nearly three-hour battle with Jaume Munar to advance to the Round of 16 at Indian Wells on Tuesday.

The Wimbledon finalist Berrettini won 88% of his first serve points and pounded his 12th ace on match point to seal the win on a sunny day in the Southern California desert, Reuters reports.

The sixth-seeded Italian was forced to retire with injury during a match in Acapulco last month and looked rusty in his second-round clash against 18-year-old qualifier Holger Rune on Sunday.

He was sharper on Tuesday, mixing in deft lobs and drop shots along with his powerful forehand and serve.

The 25-year-old is the first Italian man to make the quarter-finals or better at all four majors and said his success on the sport’s biggest stages has sparked interest in tennis back in his home country.

“When I was a kid, I dreamed of playing tennis, but not at this level. It still makes me feel like, really? It’s me?” he told Tennis Channel.

“In Italy I’m getting more and more support. A lot of people have started watching tennis. So, it’s nice.”

Berrettini will be the favourite when he takes on Serb Miomir Kecmanovic, who defeated Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets on Tuesday, in the fourth round.

Southern California native Fritz let out a mighty roar after he dealt the knockout blow to end his slugfest with Munar 6-4 2-6 7-6(2) in front of a supportive crowd.

Fritz lived dangerously in the first set, saving seven break points and captured it when the Spaniard double faulted for the first break of serve of the match.

Munar stepped up his serving in the second to force the tight third set, which Fritz won with his 11th ace of the match.

Next up for Fritz in the Round of 16 is Australian Alex de Minaur, who was a 7-6(2) 6-4 winner against American Tommy Paul.

De Minaur holds a 3-1 lead over the Fritz in their previous career meetings.

In other fourth round action, American John Isner enjoyed a stress-free 7-5 6-3 win over 14th seed Diego Schwartzman and will next face either Alexander Bublik or Grigor Dimitrov.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

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