ATP Weekly Update week ten: Mixed early fates for stars in Indian Wells

One five-time champion survived their opening match at the first Masters 1000 event of the season, one did not as the desert claimed a handful of victims in the first two roun

Here is your VAVEL USA ATP Weekly Update. Every Monday, we will be posting results and analysis from the previous week’s singles action on the ATP World Tour, along with a preview to the upcoming week. Keep coming back to VAVEL USA every Monday for your ATP Weekly Update.

With only one event on the ATP schedule this week and having it start midway through the week, there was not a ton of significant action this week on the ATP World Tour. However, just because no trophies were handed out, the first Masters 1000 event is always something worth examining. And in four days of action in the Californian desert, there was plenty to talk about. Here is your ATP Weekly Update for week ten of the 2018 season.

Last Week’s Results

Indian Wells

Even though only two rounds of the season’s first Masters 1000 event were contested, that does not mean there was little of interest this week on the ATP World Tour. The BNP Paribas Open got underway with many of the tour’s biggest stars gunning for the first big title since the Australian Open.

Roger Federer lines up an overhead during his second-round win in Indian Wells. Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Roger Federer lines up an overhead during his second-round win in Indian Wells. Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Defending champion and newly-minted world number one Roger Federer kicked off his campaign in style, overcoming an overnight rain delay to win his opening match in straight sets. Fifth seed Dominic Thiem had to battle but advanced to the third round with a three-set win. Second seed Marin Cilic joined Federer in the second round with ease, cruising through in straight sets.

When it comes to the big events, they say you can’t win the title in the first week, but you can lose it. And a handful of big names did. The most notable was five-time champion Novak Djokovic, who was contesting his first event since crashing out of the Australian Open and having surgery on his elbow. The tenth seed was sent packing in his opening match by world number 109 Taro Daniel in three sets.

Novak Djokovic chases down a forehand during his loss to Daniel. Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic chases down a forehand during his loss to Daniel. Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Other notable early losers included third seed Grigor Dimitrov, who lost his opening match to the dangerous veteran Fernando Verdasco. Fourth seed Alexander Zverev fared no better, falling in a hard-fought three-setter to Joao Sousa 16th seed and last week’s Sao Paulo champion Fabio Fognini failed to translate his clay success to the hard courts as he lost his opening match to Jeremy Chardy.

Other seeded players who failed to make it to the second week included ninth seed Lucas Pouille, who was upset by 110th ranked qualifier Yuki Bhambri, Australian Open semifinalist Kyle Edmund, former runner-up John Isner, and seeds Diego SchwartzmanAlbert Ramos-Vinolas, Gilles Muller, Damir Dzumhur, and Andrey Rublev, who lost an all-NextGen battle to American Taylor Fritz

Rankings Update

Because the BNP Paribas Open is a two-week event, there will not be any major ranking changes this week. However, Stan Wawrinka will see his ranking drop off considerably when the rankings are updated next week since he will lose 600 points for failing to defend his runner-up performance.

Race to London

Position Name Points
1 Roger Federer 2545
2 Marin Cilic 1380
3 Hyeon Chung 965
4 Juan Martin del Potro 805
5 Roberto Bautista Agut 805
6 Diego Schwartzman 780
7 Kyle Edmund 775
8 Grigor Dimitrov 760
Kevin Anderson 755
10 Dominic Thiem 745

Like the regular rankings, there have been no official changes in the Race to London. Last week, Fabio Fognini leaped into contention by winning Sao Paulo. However, his run will stall thanks to his second-round loss.

Grigor Dimitrov's loss in Indian Wells saw him fall out of the top eight in the Race to London. Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Grigor Dimitrov's loss in Indian Wells saw him fall out of the top eight in the Race to London. Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Grigor Dimitrov came into Indian Wells in a precarious position, sitting eighth in the race. His second-round loss combined with Kevin Anderson’s win puts his place in the top eight in danger, as Anderson only needs to win one more match this week to knock Dimitrov out of a qualifying spot.

This Week’s Action

Indian Wells

It will be wall-to-wall action in the Californian desert this week as the BNP Paribas Open crown is up for grabs on Sunday. Most of the big names are still in the draw and eyeing the title. Defending champion Roger Federer will continue to lead the way as the only former champion remaining in the draw. In fact, Federer is one of only four men left in the draw who has ever won a Masters 1000 title at any event.

Check back next Monday for a wrap up of week 11 and a look ahead to week 12 on the ATP World Tour. Come to www.vavel.com/en-us/tennis-usa/ every Monday or follow us on twitter @VAVELUSATennis for your #ATPWeeklyUpdate