2011 BNP Paribas Open: Michael Russell vs. Alex Kuznetsov – Review

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Stein Eriksen

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  • 2011 BNP Paribas Open: Michael Russell vs. Alex Kuznetsov – Review

2011 BNP Paribas Open: Michael Russell vs. Alex Kuznetsov – Review

Longing for a qualifier spot in the main draw, American Michael Russell took on his compatriot Alex Kuznetsov in the final qualifying round of the 2011 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Wednesday night.

Michael Russell ranked 89th in the World is 4th qualifying seed, whereas his contender Alex Kuznetsov ranked 195th in the world is the 18th seed in the BNP Paribas Open Qualifying Singles.

The pair has already met each other six times at qualifying, challenger and Future events. However, the pair has met only once on the ATP World Tour making their official head to head 1-0 in Russell’s favor. The pair’s last meeting on tour came only last month when the two met for their first round match at the San Jose event. Russell had emerged victorious in straight sets.

Given the seven meetings on court, Russell has luckily never been defeated by his compatriot Kuznetsov. Playing on those odds, Russell was able to wrap up his eighth victory against Kuznetsov as he qualified for the main draw.

Russell struck four aces in the first set while Kuznetsov only managed two. Russell hit 65 per cent of the first serves, winning 71 percent of the points on them with Kuznetsov hitting 74 per cent of the first serves, winning 86 percent of the points on them.

The higher ranked American not only saved hundred percent of the break points he faced but he also registered a perfect score on the conversion.

In the long run, Russell ultimately sewed up a 6-3 win going one up in the set score.

However, on a surprising downward spiral in the second set, Russell faced 2 breakpoints but unfortunately saved none of them though he was able to convert three of four break opportunities. He hit no ace while committing three double faults whereas his opponent managed to convert two of two break opportunities. Kuznetsov hit 2 aces with 2 double faults.

Russell hit 73 per cent of the first serves, winning 40 per cent of the points on them whereas his defender hit 55 per cent of the first serves, winning 47 per cent of the points on them.

Russell was able to wrap up his straight sets victory with a 7-5 win in the second set. He now moves on ahead to face Kevin Anderson of South Africa for a position in the main draw later.

 

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