The Indian Wells Masters 1,000 lived a key day for Spanish aspirations in the California tournament as the three survivors of the army played matches, two in the men’s category and one in the women’s category. Albert Ramos met Georgian Basilashvili in sixteenths to continue his love affair with these tracks where he has added at least one win in his eight participations. The challenge was once again great for the Barcelona player after eliminating Musetti and Auger-Aliassime signing their best ATP Masters 1000 in three years.
The match started with strong defenses on serve, but the Spaniard broke in the fifth game after going 0-40. Nikoloz saved two, but couldn’t handle the third break possibility. Ramos went on a roll, kept his serve, repeated the plan in the Georgian’s next serve but when he had the option to close the first set 6-2 … Basilashvili’s break came. The Catalan tempered his nerves and in his next service he closed the set (6-4) in the third point he had for it.
But despite the initial success, the game had a lot of chicha ahead of it. The Georgian did not give up far from it and it seemed that the second sleeve was in his pocket. He was winning 5-3 and serving … when Cyclone Ramos came into action. Three straight games to get 6-5 and serve. When it seemed that the game was coming to an end, a new script twist. Basilashvili broke and took the second set to the tie break… who won 7-2. The third set gave the safe conduct to pass the round. And this was for the Georgian (6-2) after taking advantage of the fact that the Barcelona player was surely still reviewing and lamenting the missed opportunity.
For its part, Pablo Carreño (16th in the ATP classification), in the same round as Ramos, had another tremendous duel with an air of revenge against the Russian Karen Khachanov (number 29 in the ranking) since the Asturian was defeated in the semifinals of the Tokyo Games where both were finally medalists: the Spanish took bronze and the Russian took silver. Khachanov had won the last three hard surface games … and the fourth came. Everything went wrong from almost the beginning. Carreño dominated his first serve 40-15, but the change of lane took longer than desirable to arrive. Khachanov reached the deuce and broke on the first break option. The 1-0 quickly became 2-0. The Russian was a roller and he broke Carreño again to confirm it and go 4-0 to the electronic in just 15 minutes. And eight minutes later Khachanov completed the rosco.
Despite the harsh correction, Carreño took his first game, blank, at the beginning of the second set. The equal 30 of the Russian serve seemed to harbor hope … but it was not possible. Khachanov pushed his serve forward to break that of the Gijon in the next. From both players their serves were maintained so that the victory in the set (by 6-4 in 41 minutes) and in the match they went to the side of the 25-year-old Muscovite, in 64 minutes, who will now be measured with Basilashvili in the round of 16.
The one who could no longer play the game was Roberto Bautista after saying goodbye in the third round when he fell to Britain’s Cameron Norrie 4-6, 7-5 and 3-6 after 2 hours and 45 minutes. He also lost, although already in the round of 16, the Italian Berrettini against the local Fritz (6-4 and 6-3) who will face in the quarterfinals another transalpine, Sinner, who went through the round without playing since Isner left the tournament to be present at the birth of their third child.
The third option for Spain on the Californian tracks was Paula Badosa. The 23-year-old tennis player born in New York defeated the American Cori Gauff in the round of 32 (double 6-2) and has a very complicated confrontation this morning against the Czech Barbora Krejcikova, third seeded and number five in the world ranking.