Indian Wells: Paul stuns Zverev; Halep tops Gauff

Tommy Paul collected the biggest win of his career with a stunning 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2) victory over third seed Alexander Zverev under the lights at Indian Wells on Sunday.

Tommy Paul returns a shot to Alexander Zverev.   -  AP

Tommy Paul collected the biggest win of his career with a stunning 6-2 , 4-6, 7-6(2) victory over third seed Alexander Zverev under the lights at Indian Wells on Sunday.

After a strong start, the 24-year-old American's good fortune appeared to dry up in the California desert when the hard-hitting German was up a break and serving at 4-2 in the decider.

But Zverev committed four double faults in the game to let Paul back into the match and he did not waste the opportunity, keeping his nerve to force a tiebreak where he played nearly flawless tennis to secure the upset before an adoring crowd.

"I started well, I came to the net a ton and put a lot of pressure on his serve," Paul said in an on-court interview.

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"He started serving really well there in the second set and even into the third, but I got kind of lucky there when I got down a break. We'll always take those," he said with a laugh.

Next up for Paul is a third-round clash with Alex de Minaur, who defeated fellow Australian John Millman 7-6(4), 6-3.

Sixth seed Matteo Berrettini managed to serve his way out of trouble to survive a tough test from 18-year-old qualifier Holger Rune and hang on for a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win.

The Italian Australian Open semifinalist was forced to retire with injury during the second set of his last match against Paul in Acapulco last month and admitted to having some rust.

"It's always tricky when you step into the court again so I'm happy to get the win," Berrettini said.

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In other second round action, Americans Taylor Fritz, Steve Johnson, Frances Tiafoe and John Isner all won in straight sets, while fan favorite Diego Schwartzman of Argentina and Hubert Hurkacz of Poland needed three sets to advance to the third round of the Masters 1000 tournament.

Halep defeats Gauf

In the evening session, 2015 champion Simona Halep defeated Coco Gauff 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second week.

Gauff, who turned 18 on Sunday, had no answer for the Romanian veteran's superb shotmaking on a blustery night on Stadium One.

"I'm not scared about the wind. I never have been, even when I was a kid," Halep said.

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"I think I played smart tonight because from one side you had to play different, from the other side a little bit different. So I think I managed very well all the moments."

Wearing a ribbon with the colors of the Ukrainian flag, German Angelique Kerber beat Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 and said she tried to put the fact that she was playing against a Russian out of her mind.

"Right now, there's much more important issues in the world," Kerber told reporters.

"People are fleeing, the whole situation is topic number one and is frightening for everyone. As I've said, I don't live far from the situation.

"My grandparents are there and so of course you're checking the news every five minutes or every hour, you're in touch with folks. I think right now that's the topic that is occupying my mind and everyone else here."

Next up for Kerber is a third round showdown with third seed Iga Swiatek, who defeated Clara Tauson earlier in the day.

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