Bouchard and Tomic out of Indian Wells
Originally published on 10/03/17 00:00
Bernard Tomic’s slide down the world rankings is set to gather pace after the 24-year-old Australian suffered his fourth successive first-round defeat when he was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Bjorn Fratangelo in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
Fratangelo, aged 23, was given a wild card into the tournament and was making his debut at Masters 1000 level but needed just 62 minutes to brush his opponent aside. Tomic dropped serve twice in both sets and forced just three break points, none of which he was able to convert.
Not much has gone right for Tomic since his run to the third round of the Australian Open in January. The defeat to Fratangelo, the world No 112, was his fourth in a row against lower-ranked opponents following his first-round losses in Memphis to Darian King (world No 140), at Delray Beach to Steve Darcis (world No 57) and in Acapulco to Donald Young (world No 63).
Tomic reached a career-high position of No 17 at the start of last year but had slipped to No 26 by the end of the campaign and is now at No 42. Having reached the last 32 at Indian Wells last year he looks certain to fall again in the rankings at the end of the tournament.
Andy Murray, the world No 1, will face Vasek Pospisil in his opening match after the Canadian fought back to beat Yen-Hsun Lu 6-7(6) 6-4 6-3 in a gruelling encounter that lasted two and a half hours.
Eugenie Bouchard suffered a disappointing loss when she was beaten 3-6 6-2 6-2 by Germany’s Annika Beck, while Donna Vekic built on her improved form to beat Alison Riske 6-3 7-6(2).