Following 48 hours of stress and worry for Andy Murray, it’s down to business for the former World No. 1 at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday, with #NextGenATP stars Lorenzo Musetti, Jenson Brooksby, Brandon Nakashima and Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune also in first-round action.
Reunited with his wedding ring, which he tied to his sweaty shoes and left under his car overnight to air Wednesday, Murray has wriggled out of the bad books with his wife Kim and now has his sights set on beating France’s Adrian Mannarino in the last match on Stadium 1.
Andy Murray: Wedding Ring Is Back, Shoes Still Stink!
In their two previous hard-court meetings, contested in 2015, the same year as Murray married his wife, Kim, and first tied his wedding ring in his shoelaces, the Briton recorded victories at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati prior to a five-set tussle at the US Open.
“He is a very tricky player, quite unorthodox and plays differently to most of the guys on Tour,” said wild card Murray, who reached the 2009 final (l. to Nadal) and has a 25-12 match record in Indian Wells. “The majority of players play with heavy topspin and have big, long swings to generate power and spin. He hits very flat off both sides and on the forehand he has probably the shortest swing on Tour. He plays a lot with his timing. His quick lefty serve is difficult as well. It won’t be an easy match.”
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Four #NextGenATP players, who are battling to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, the 21-and-under event in Milan from 9-13 November, also feature on day two in Indian Wells. Brooksby (877 points), Musetti (876), Nakashima (661) and Rune (615) are separated by just 262 points in the ATP Race To Milan.
American Brooksby, 20, the next in line to clinch his spot, plays in his first tournament since reaching the US Open fourth round (l. to Djokovic in four sets), and challenges Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel third on Stadium 1. After two ATP Tour semi-finals in Acapulco and Lyon, Italian Musetti is hoping to rediscover his best form against Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas, aiming to improve upon two wins in his past nine matches.
American Nakashima, who reached his first ATP Tour final in Los Cabos (l. to Norrie) in July and soon cracked the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time, plays Bastad finalist Federico Coria of Argentina not before 6pm on Stadium 3. While Danish wild card Rune, a winner of three ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2021, faces American qualifier Ernesto Escobedo second on Stadium 4.
Elsewhere, three-time Indian Wells quarter-finalist Kevin Anderson looks to extend his perfect 2-0 ATP Head2Head record against Jordan Thompson of Australia second on Stadium 2. American wild card Jack Sock, the 2017 semi-finalist (l. to Federer), plays another Australian, John Millman, not before 6pm on Stadium 2.
A number of ATP Tour stars feature in doubles action, notably Italians Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner taking on fifth seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau, and Russians Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev challenging Alex de Minaur and Reilly Opelka. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz also play Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov.
VIEW SCHEDULE — FRIDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2021
STADIUM 1 starts at 11:00 AM
WTA – P. Martic (CRO) vs  I. Swiatek (POL)
WTA – M. Kostyuk (UKR) vs  S. Halep (ROU)
ATP – [Q] C. Ilkel (TUR) vs J. Brooksby (USA)
WTA – Not Before 6:00 PM – [WC]  E. Raducanu (GBR) vs A. Sasnovich (BLR)
ATP – [WC] A. Murray (GBR) vs A. Mannarino (FRA)
STADIUM 2 starts at 11:00 AM
ATP – D. Kudla (USA) vs [Q] A. Tabilo (CHI)
ATP – K. Anderson (RSA) vs J. Thompson (AUS)
WTA – Not Before 3:00 PM – M. Keys (USA) vs  A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
ATP – Not Before 6:00 PM – [WC] J. Sock (USA) vs J. Millman (AUS)
WTA – Not Before 8:00 PM –  L. Fernandez (CAN) vs A. Cornet (FRA)
STADIUM 3 starts at 11:00 AM
ATP – F. Delbonis (ARG) vs Y. Nishioka (JPN)
WTA – M. Linette (POL) vs  V. Azarenka (BLR)
WTA –  B. Bencic (SUI) vs S. Rogers (USA)
ATP – Not Before 6:00 PM – F. Coria (ARG) vs B. Nakashima (USA)
ATP – M. Fucsovics (HUN) vs G. Mager (ITA)
STADIUM 4 starts at 11:00 AM
WTA – T. Martincova (CZE) vs  E. Svitolina (UKR)
ATP – [WC] H. V. N. Rune (DEN) vs [Q] E. Escobedo (USA)
ATP – A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs L. Musetti (ITA)
WTA – Not Before 6:00 PM –  P. Kvitova (CZE) vs A. Rus (NED)
WTA – S. Stephens (USA) vs  J. Pegula (USA)
STADIUM 5 starts at 11:00 AM
ATP – R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN) / H. Hurkacz (POL)
ATP –  K. Krawietz (GER) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs M. Berrettini (ITA) / J. Sinner (ITA)
ATP – L. Harris (RSA) / D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs [WC] S. Johnson (USA) / S. Querrey (USA)
ATP – Not Before 6:00 PM – [Q] A. Vukic (AUS) vs P. Andujar (ESP)
ATP – E. Gerasimov (BLR) vs [Q] C. Eubanks (USA)
STADIUM 6 starts at 11:00 AM
WTA –  V. Kudermetova (RUS) vs L. Samsonova (RUS)
WTA – S. Hsieh (TPE) vs  J. Ostapenko (LAT)
WTA – I. Begu (ROU) vs  J. Teichmann (SUI)
WTA – Not Before 6:00 PM –  E. Rybakina (KAZ) vs Y. Putintseva (KAZ)
WTA –  A. Guarachi (CHI) / D. Krawczyk (USA) vs [SR] H. Watson (GBR) / S. Zheng (CHN)
STADIUM 7 starts at 11:00 AM
ATP] A. Karatsev (RUS) / A. Rublev (RUS) vs A. De Minaur (AUS) / R. Opelka (USA)
ATP] C. Norrie (GBR) / L. Saville (AUS) vs  R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR)
ATP] F. Bagnis (ARG) vs [Q] E. Gomez (ECU)
ATP] NB 6:00 PM P. Martinez (ESP) vs [Q] R. Marcora (ITA)
STADIUM 8 starts at 11:00 AM
WTA –  S. Cirstea (ROU) vs M. Doi (JPN)
WTA –  E. Mertens (BEL) vs [LL] J. Paolini (ITA)
WTA – M. Ninomiya (JPN) / S. Santamaria (USA) vs K. Flipkens (BEL) / S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP)
WTA – Not Before 6:00 PM – [WC] A. Anisimova (USA) / D. Yastremska (UKR) vs  S. Hsieh (TPE) / E. Mertens (BEL)
WTA –  B. Krejcikova (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) vs V. Golubic (SUI) / J. Teichmann (SUI)
STADIUM 9 starts at 11:00 AM
ATP – D. Koepfer (GER) vs E. Ruusuvuori (FIN)
ATP – J. Struff (GER) vs D. E. Galan (COL)
ATP – R. Bautista Agut (ESP) / A. Davidovich Fokina (ESP) vs S. Gille (BEL) / J. Vliegen (BEL)