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Ailing Zverev toppled, Djokovic rained out at Indian Wells


Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany in action against Alexander Zverev of Germany during the BNP Paribas Open match in Indian Wells, California.
 Indian Wells (United States), March 12: Ailing World No. 3 Alexander Zverev crashed out of the ATP Indian Wells Masters, where Novak Djokovic’s third round match was suspended by rain with one game completed.

Jan-Lennard Struff, ranked 55th in the world, notched his first victory over Zverev in five tries, breaking him once in the first set and three times in the second for a 6-3, 6-1 victory.

“I’ve been sick for a week,” said the 21-year-old Zverev, who lost the Acapulco final to Australian Nick Kyrgios the week before Indian Wells began. “That hasn’t changed, unfortunately.

“I think I just got unlucky, I got a virus somewhere and that’s how it is.” Zverev, the owner of three Masters 1000 titles who has never made it to the quarterfinals at Indian Wells, said he would now focus on recuperating and preparing for the Miami Masters, where he’ll be hoping to improve on his runner-up finish to John Isner last year.

“Now it’s about getting healthy and about recovering and preparing myself for Miami, because Miami is the tournament I do well in, history-wise,” he said. “Here I have always struggled.” Despite the circumstances, Struff was delighted to get a first win over Zverev.

“Yeah, 6-3, 6-1, it’s amazing,” he said. “Played a good match. He was missing some shots today, but at the end of the day I’m very happy with that.”

Struff next faces 13th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic, who rallied from 4-1 down in the third set to beat US qualifier Marcos Giron 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Giron, 25, looked set to claim the biggest win of a career that has been hindered by two hip operations when he took a 4-1 lead in the third set.

But Raonic, runner-up at Indian Wells in 2016, called on all of his experience to turn things around against the American, who had never won two ATP Tour matches in a row until this week. – AFP

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