While Saturday’s action featured edge-of-your-seat drama, the results on Sunday were somewhat muted as two SoCal favorites saw their quest for the BNP Paribas Open championship come to a halt.
Steve Johnson (Redondo Beach) entered his second match of the Open on Sunday after notching an emotional win over countryman Taylor Fritz (Rancho Palos Verdes) earlier last week. Today’s opponent, World #5 Denis Shapovalov, proved a different story as the Canadian controlled much of the contest en route to a 6-3, 6-4 win.
Earlier, the Indian Wells crowd was disappointed to see Serena Williams retire at the start of the second set in her 3rd round match against Garbine Muguruza. Williams requested a trainer after the first set, won by Muguruza at 6-4. Serena returned to start the second set but quickly relented, unable to continue.
Mackenzie McDonald fell to Daniil Medvedev as the top Russian star started slow but finished with a flurry, overcoming the fan favorite 7-5, 6-0. “Mackie” looked poised to steal the first set but dropped serve late to allow Medvedev control of the match, which he never relinquished. McDonald returned to action later in the day, playing on center court with doubles partner Reilly Opelka as an unexpected thrill after Serena Williams retired early from her Stadium 1 match. The young tandem slugged their way to a 7-6 win in the first set then played consistent and smart doubles to contain the energetic Gail Monfils and his partner, Adrian Mannarino, 7-6, 6-3.
Jared Donaldson (Irvine) is slated to meet Rafael Nadal in the nightcap.
On Monday, Marcos Giron kicks off Indian Wells action with a third round matchup against #13 Milos Raonic, while Venus Williams meets surprise qualifier Christina McHale on Stadium 1 midday. Bob & Mike Bryan return to doubles action in their second round meeting with Dominic Inglot/Franko Skugor. The Bryans are seeded 4th in the event, while the 2008 NCAA doubles champion, USC’s Robert Farah, and his teammate Juan Sebastian Cabal are seeded fifth and meet Lucas Pouille & Stan Wawrinka late Monday afternoon.