AMERICANS FIND SUCCESS
AT 2017 INDIAN WELLS
Ashley Marshall | March 17, 2017
Team USA's men and women continued their strong start to 2017 at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Top American man Jack Sock and third-ranked U.S. woman Venus Williams reached at least the quarterfinals, and players like Lauren Davis and Donald Young built on their fine starts to the season as they continue to climb up the rankings. Here's a closer look:
Sock has continued his strong start to 2017 in Indian Wells as he looks to become the first American men’s champion in the desert since Andre Agassi in 2001.
Sock rallied from a set down and saved four match points against No. 12 seed and 2017 Australian Open semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov in the third round and ousted No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori in three sets in the quarterfinals. He next faces Roger Federer in Saturday's semifinals, Sock's first-ever final four at a Masters 1000 event. ADVERTISEMENT The last U.S. man to get this deep into the tournament was John Isner, who reached the championship match in 2012.
Sock has won two titles and lost only twice so far in 2017, to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Australian Open and Yoshihito Nishioka in Acapulco. He will rise to a career best of at least No. 17 in the world rankings next week.
Williams advanced to the quarterfinals at Indian Wells for the first time in 16 years this week.
The seven-time Grand Slam women's singles champion defeated former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, 2015 French Open finalist Lucie Safarova and qualifier Peng Shuai over the first three rounds before losing to No. 14 seed Elena Vesnina, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, in the final eight.
The 36-year-old, who did not play in Indian Wells between 2002 and 2015, will climb one spot to No. 12 in the rankings and has every opportunity to be a Top 10 seed by the French Open in May.
Young continued his charge back toward the world’s Top 50 with a strong run to the fourth round in Indian Wells.
The American notched impressive wins over countryman and Acapulco champion Sam Querrey in the second round and 14th-seeded Lucas Pouille of France in the round of 32. Young’s run came to an end at the hands of Nishikori, but the strong showing adds to his ever-increasing momentum.
Young, who started the year at No. 88, has already notched victories over Isner, Ivo Karlovic and Bernard Tomic since the calendar turned to 2017, and he is projected to rise to No. 51 when the new rankings come out on Monday.
Davis has been playing the best tennis of her career over the past six months. Her reward will be a new career high in the rankings.
Davis, 23, reached the round of 16 in Indian Wells to bolster her hard-court credentials and continue her charge up the ladder. Since reaching the final in Quebec City and breaking into the Top 100 in September, she has come through qualifying to reach the semifinals in Luxembourg, finished runner-up in Poitiers, won her first title in Auckland and reached consecutive quarterfinals in Doha and Dubai.
Davis is expected to jump four places to No. 34 on Monday, which would be a new career best and puts her on the cusp of a seed for the French Open.
Wild card Fritz toppled former US Open champion Marin Cilic, 6-3, 6-2, in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.
It marks the ascending star's first career victory over a Top 20 player and his fourth victory over someone ranked inside the Top 50. The 19-year-old, currently sitting at No. 136, reached a high of No. 53 in the rankings last summer and will now edge closer to breaking back into the Top 100.
The one American assured of playing for a title in Indian Wells is Ram. The Olympic silver medalist (in mixed doubles, with Venus) is into the men's doubles final with partner Raven Klaasen of South Africa, where they will face either fourth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares or eighth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.
Ram is currently up to No. 14 in the individual doubles rankings. He and Klaasen teamed to win the title in Delray Beach in February.