Andy Murray edged Adrian Mannarino Friday to reach the second round of the ATP Masters 1000; next, he faces Carlos Alcaraz.
On Sunday, the 46-time ATP titlist meets NextGen ATP Finals contender Carlos Alcaraz.
In his on-court interview, Murray said: “It’s been four years since I was last here. I think it’s one of the best places to play tennis on Tour. It’s been a tough road to get back, and it was so nice that so many people managed to come out and support today. I really enjoyed it.”
The 34-year-old won 82 percent of his first service points, converting three of the six breakpoints opportunities he faced to earn his first win in Indian Wells since 2016 after one hour and 24 minutes.
The former World No. 1 has set up a second-round clash with World No. 38 Alcaraz, who will make his debut at the BNP Paribas Open against the 2009 Indian Wells finalist.
The 18-year-old returns to play on Tour for the first time since the U.S. Open as an upper leg injury prevented the Spaniard from continuing his outstanding campaign at the event last September.
The youngest player in the Open Era to reach the U.S. Open quarter-finals moved past World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas and Los Cabos reigning champion Cameron Norrie before the injury forced Juan Carlos Ferrero pupil to retire midway through the match against Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime.
At the time, Alcaraz stated: “A fibrillar tear is confirmed in the vastus medialis and lateral quadriceps and an elongation in the adductor, so I have to rest for a few weeks and recover in order to reach Indian Wells with the best level.”
Late in September, after a visit to his doctor, Dr. Juanjo Lopez, the Murcia native, confirmed that a magnetic resonance showed the muscle injuries evolved well.
Early in October, the 2021 Umag Open champion made an appearance in an exhibition tournament held in the JC Ferrero-Equelite Sport Academy in tribute to WTA player Carla Suarez Navarro, showing he was back in form.
Murray reached his first quarter-final since Antwerp in 2019 last month at the Moselle Open, which he lost to the top seed Hubert Hurkacz.
After the match, he highlighted: “Winning tournaments and getting up towards the top of the rankings is motivating to me. Hopefully, between now and the end of the year, I can play a lot of matches and try to do better than this week.”
The encounter between the Brit and the young Spaniard will be their first meeting on Tour.