Indian Wells D4 wrap: Gael storms into Pole’s position

FRENCH veteran Gael Monfils has enjoyed a career resurgence in 2024, and that continued in the second round of Indian Wells when he stunned eighth seeded Pole, Hubert Hurkacz. The 37-year-old Monfils bagelled the unsuspecting Hurkacz in the first set, and after losing the second in a tiebreaker stepped back ip to the plate to win 6-0 6-7 6-2 in just over two hours.

Now ranked 54th in the world with 12 career titles to his name, Monfils turned professional back in 2004, before some of the current ATP Tour stars were even born. But after injuries derailed the latter part of his career and retirement loomed large, Monfils has found his best form again and defeated Hurkacz for the second time in three matches, their first contest in five years.

Monfils was rock solid on serve in his win over Hurkacz, serving six aces and winning 68 and 64 per cent of his first and second serve points. He was only broken twice, and then created 13 break point opportunities himself, capitalising on seven. His first set – where he only lost 11 points in total – was complete domination, and he found a way to win when the eighth seed challenged him in the second set.

Monfils will tackle 28th seeded Cam Norrie in the Round of 32, before facing either ninth seeded Casper Ruud or compatriot Arthur Fils in the fourth round should he advance past the Brit, who won the event back in 2021.

The only other major upset was Fils’ win over 23rd seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the remaining 12 seeds on court all booked their place in the third round. Lucky loser Luca Nardi made the most of taking Tomas Martin Etcheverry’s spot in the draw, having a first round bye and then defeating China’s Zhizhen Zhang to move through to the Round of 32.

It was a great day for the French, with four of the five representatives stamping their place in the third round, as 14th seed Ugo Humbert saw off local wildcard Patrick Kypson, while Adrian Mannarino blasted past a shellshocked Tomas Machac, 6-1 6-2. Aussie Aleksandar Vukic also took a set off world number one Novak Djokovic in a shock result, but did go down in three sets, 6-2 5-7 6-3.


[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) defeated Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) 6-2 5-7 6-3
[4] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 6-2 6-3
[7] Holger Rune (DEN) defeated [PR] Milos Raonic (CAN) W/O
Gael Monfils (FRA) defeated [8] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-0 6-7 6-2
[9] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Lukas Klein (SVK) 6-4 7-6
[12] Taylor Fritz (USA) defeated Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) 7-6 6-2
[13] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) defeated Alexandre Muller (FRA) 7-5 6-2
[14] Ugo Humbert (FRA) defeated [WC] Patrick Kypson (USA) 6-4 6-4
[17] Tommy Paul (USA) defeated Alex Michelsen (USA) 6-2 6-2
[19] Sebastian Baez (ARG) defeated [WC] Fabio Fognini (ITA) 7-5 6-3
[21] Adrian Mannarino (FRA) defeated Tomas Machac (CZE) 6-1 6-2
Arthur Fils (FRA) defeated [23] Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) 6-3 6-4
[26] Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated [PR] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 6-4 2-6 7-5
[28] Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-4 6-4
[29] Sebastian Korda (USA) defeated Roman Safiullin (RUS) 6-4 6-2
[LL] Luca Nardi (ITA) defeated Zhizhen Zhang (CHN) 6-3 3-6 6-3

The women’s singles draw almost lost all four of the top eight seeds in the bottom half of the bracket. Australian Open runner-up and eighth seed Qinwen Zheng went down to compatriot Yue Yuan, while second highest ranked local talent Jessica Pegula bowed out in three sets to the dangerous Anna Blinkova, 6-2 3-6 6-3.

It was almost a complete disaster for the American fans, with third seed Coco Gauff going a set down, and then having to survive a deciding tiebreaker before getting past Clara Burel. In perhaps the biggest almost shock of the day, Peyton Stearns had four match points – including three straight at 40-0 serving for the match in the deciding set – against Aryna Sabalenka, before the second seeded Belarusian found a way to win and escape through to the third round.

The Australian Open champion will now face US Open winner Emma Raducanu who had a far easier time, winning the first four games before Australian Open semi-finalist Dayana Yastremska retired. It was the second time Yastremska had retired mid-match against Raducanu. In other results, Sloane Stephens caused an upset over 19th seeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea, while compatriot Caroline Dolehide upset Victoria Azarenka in three sets.

Former world number one Naomi Osaka stamped her ticket into the third round thanks to a 7-5 6-3 win over 14th seeded Russian Liudmila Samsonova. The other impressive win was Frenchwoman Diane Parry‘s three set victory over US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez.


[2] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) defeated Peyton Stearns (USA) 6-7 6-2 7-6
[3] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Clara Burel (FRA) 2-6 6-3 7-6
Anna Blinkova (RUS) defeated [5] Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-2 3-6 6-3
Yue Yuan (CHN) defeated [8] Qinwen Zheng (CHN) 6-4 6-3
[9] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Diana Shnaider (RUS) 5-7 6-4 6-0
[11] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-3 7-6
Naomi Osaka (JPN) defeated [14] Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 7-5 6-3
[16] Elina Svitolina (UKR) defeated Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 6-3 2-6 6-1
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated [19] Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 6-0 7-5
[20] Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) 6-1 3-6 6-3
[23] Emma Navarro (USA) defeated Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 4-6 7-5 7-5
[24] Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated Xinyu Wang (CHN) 6-1 6-4
Caroline Dolehide (USA) defeated [27] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 7-5 2-6 6-3
Diane Parry (FRA) defeated [29] Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 7-5 5-7 6-2
Lucia Bronzetti (ITA) defeated [32] Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) 6-3 6-4
[WC] Emma Raducanu (GBR) defeated [30] Dayana Yastremska (UKR) 4-0 RET

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