The Turin player was eliminated in straight sets by the Australians 6-4, 7-6(4). Friday Matteo returns to the field to challenge world No. 103, the predecessors smile at him to make it 3-1
The blue campaign in the Californian desert doesn’t start off on the right foot. At the first Masters 1000 of the season, Lorenzo Sonego, the only Italian to take the field on day one of the tournament, gave way to Australian Jason Kubler (No.75 ATP). The Turin native, returning from the quarter-finals in Dubai, suffered a crucial break on the only chance allowed in the first set (in game ninth) and then failed in his attempt to reverse after reaching the tiebreak of the second set 6-4 7-6 (4) in an hour and 52 minutes of gameplay. Kubler thus confirms himself unbeaten in direct duels with the Italian, three in total if you consider Qujing’s Challenger quarter-finals in 2018 and Melbourne 2’s ATP 250 first round in 2021. Kubler now meets Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, No. 25 in the world and 21st seed in the event, in the second round.
Matteo Berrettini’s opponent has been decided, who is back on track in Indian Wells after reassuring fans about the problem in his right calf that halted his race in the Acapulco quarterfinals. The world No. 23 is set to challenge the Japanese coming from qualifiers Taro Daniel (No. 103 Atp) on Friday, who edged Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 7-5 on the Italian night. In total there are four precedents between Berrettini and Daniel, with the Roman currently leading 3-1. The last time the two met was a few months ago, during the quarter-finals of the tournament in Naples. In October, the speedy Neapolitan was able to make the difference in two quick sets to prevail 6-2, 6-3. The only match that went to the Japanese is instead dated to 2018, where he defeated the Roman 7-5, 6-3 in the first round on clay in Istanbul.
Second-placed Stefanos Tsitsipas’ first opponent has also been announced, who will challenge Australian Jordan Thompson, winner of the match with Frenchman Gael Monfils, on his return to the circuit after an injury-plagued 2022. 6-3 6-1, the result that sees the Australian in their third career meeting against the Greek, who was in charge in previous games with a comfortable 2-0. Argentinian Diego Schwartzman is also in front and leaves his compatriot Federico Coria only three games (6: 1, 6: 2). In the home derby between Isner and Nakashima, the reigning champion of the Next Gen ATP Finals triumphed, beating the 39-year-old giant 7-6(7) 6-3.
March 9, 2023 (Modification March 9, 2023 | 08:26)
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