Andrey Kuznetsov needed just 70 minutes to defeat the 28th seed Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-2 on a windy Stadium 4 at the BNP Paribas Open. This was their second meeting. They last met at the Australian Open in January with Kuznetsov coming out on top in straight sets.
Early break decides first set
Jeremy Chardy started the match slowly, failing to keep any of his serves in and immediately found himself break point down. At 40-adv, Chardy served two double faults and gifted the opening game to his Russian opponent. In the following game, Kuznetsov consolidated the break and took control of the set early on.
At 1-3 in the first, the world number 32 double faulted, which gave the Russian a chance to put the set beyond the Frenchman. Chardy smashed a forehand winner to save the point, then held to stay just one game behind. With both players holding serve, Kuznetsov, who had an early break, found himself serving for the opening set. The Russian had no trouble sealing the set as he rushed to hold his service game to love to win the opener 4-6.
Kuznetsov builds a healthy lead, wins match
At the start of the set, Kuznetsov put pressure on the Chardy serve and just like the first, he broke for a 0-1 lead. The number two Russian quickly raced to a 0-3 lead, breaking Chardy at 0-2 with a backhand cross court winner. Kuznetsov was looking to put the set to bed, but Chardy fought back and suddenly had break points to keep himself alive not only in the set but in the match. He came alive and hit a forehand winner to keep any chances of a comeback alive.
With the Russian at 2-4, there were break point chances for Kuznetsov at 15-40 in the game. The Frenchman saved one point with a fantastic forehand winner, but Kuznetsov gobbled up his chance and broke on his second point as Chardy's serve let him down once more hitting a double fault to gift his opposition a chance to serve it out for a place in the third round.
With the 25-year old serving it out, Chardy put pressure on Kuznetsov as he had chances to break. At 40-30 in what could be the last game of the match, Chardy failed to pounce and hit a backhand shot into the net. From then on in the unseeded Russian won the remaining two points and forced a backhand to go long to win the match and book his place in the next round.
Match by the Numbers
Jeremy Chardy hit six aces and 10 double faults throughout the match. The Frenchman also won 68 percent of points on his first serve, but on his second he struggled massively only winning 41 percent. He saved 42 percent break point opportunities and took only one break point giving him a 25% winning percentage. The 29-year-old won 43 percent of points.
Andrey Kuznetsov hit four aces and served only three double faults, which was key in winning the match. He was consistent on serve winning 70 percent behind his first serve and 63 percent behind his second. He saved a massive 75 percent of break point chances and took four out of seven to give him a 57 percent of break points won. He ended up winning 56 percent of points during the match.