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Murray stunned by Canada’s Pospisil at Indian Wells

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Andy Murray was stunned in his opening match at the BNP Paribas Open by a man ranked 128 places below him, losing 6-4, 7-6 (4) to Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil on Saturday night.

It was, without a doubt, the biggest singles victory of his career for Pospisil, who spun around and flung away his racket after smacking a forehand winner to convert his fourth match point. Pospisil’s best accomplishment in tennis to date was winning a Wimbledon doubles title with Jack Sock of the U.S. in 2014.

There really was little reason to believe beforehand that Murray would have so much trouble Saturday. He is, after all, ranked No. 1, owns three Grand Slam singles titles and two Olympic singles golds, has about $55 million more in career earnings than Pospisil and a 45-0 edge in singles trophies.

Plus, Murray had won all four previous head-to-head matchups.

But Pospisil attacked second serves with great success this time and broke Murray four times – three in the opening set alone – while also keeping him off-balance with strong net play.

The tone was established early on in the second-round match. Murray, who had a bye in the first round, broke Pospisil twice in the opening set, but gave that edge back each time, winning only 1 of 9 second-serve points in that set.

Pospisil broke again to open the third, then held for 2-0 and had two break points to go up 3-0 after Murray double-faulted for the sixth time. But Murray held there, then broke back, and was steadier until the tiebreaker.

Yet another double-fault gave Pospisil a 3-1 lead, and he stretched that to 6-2, before relenting just a bit on the way to the upset.

Other seeded men losing Saturday: No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 19 Ivo Karlovic and No. 30 Feliciano Lopez.

Murray failed to mount the sort of comeback that Venus Williams fashioned earlier Saturday, when she cast aside three match points to get past another former No. 1-ranked player, Jelena Jankovic, 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1.

Williams moved into the third round at Indian Wells for the first time since 2001, the year she and her father were jeered after she withdrew from her semifinal against younger sister Serena because of an injury. Williams boycotted the hard-court tournament until returning last year.

Against Jankovic, the 36-year-old Williams – a seven-time Grand Slam champion and the Australian Open runner-up against her sister in January – had white tape wrapping her right elbow and left thigh. And the American, who is seeded 12th, lost the opening set quickly, dropping 16 of 18 points on her own serve, before falling behind 4-1 in the second.

Even after Williams began turning things around from there, she was a point from losing on three occasions, each while she served trailing 6-5 in the second set. On the first, at 15-40, she ended an 11-stroke exchange with a backhand volley winner. On the next, at 30-40, Jankovic pushed a return of serve long. And on the third, later in that game, Jankovic again missed a return, again sending it long, and put her hands on her hips.

She would only win one game the rest of the way.

Also Saturday, Madison Keys played – and won – her first match of 2017 after time off because of a wrist operation, beating Mariana Duque-Marino 6-1, 7-5. Keys, a 22-year-old American ranked No. 9, had arthroscopic surgery on her left wrist shortly after the season-ending WTA Finals in October.

Nishikori saves three match points in Geneva Open QF win

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GENEVA — Kei Nishikori saved three straight match points in the deciding set before outlasting Kevin Anderson 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the Geneva Open quarterfinals on Thursday.

The second-seeded Nishikori was serving at 4-5, 0-40 before rallying to beat the 62nd-ranked South African, who fired 14 aces without allowing any by his opponent.

Nishikori also trailed in the tiebreaker before creating a second match-point chance with a forehand crosscourt service return for a winner. He clinched with a forehand winner off a looping net-cord ball.

The No. 9-ranked Japanese player will face 33rd-ranked Mischa Zverev of Germany in the semifinals on Friday.

The Russian-born Zverev, who came through qualifying, beat fifth-seeded Steve Johnson of the United States 6-4, 7-5.

Madison Keys aiming to kick start her season at French Open

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PARIS (AP) After a disappointing start to 2017, Madison Keys is ready to kick start her season when the French Open begins on Sunday.

Keys missed the first two months of the year after undergoing surgery on her left wrist in the offseason.

“I’m fully recovered and happy to be back on the tour,” Keys said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. “Obviously, I haven’t had the perfect start to the season, but really I’m just happy to be back on the court and be pain free.

“I’m very excited to play in Roland Garros. I feel like every year I love it a little bit more and it’s such a beautiful city to play in, so I’m very excited for the start.”

In her first tournament back, Keys reached the third round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March. But since then, the American has made first round exits in Charleston, Madrid and Rome – where she reached the final last year.

However, Keys hasn’t gone out in the opening round of a Grand Slam since losing to Sara Errani at Roland Garros in 2014.

“I’m really just trying to have some good matches and looking at it that way and you know that’s all I’m really concerned about,” she said.

Long considered one of the world’s most promising young players, the 22-year-old Keys burst through to the semifinals of the 2015 Australian Open while still a teenager and went on to make the quarterfinals at Wimbledon that year.

The upward trajectory continued last season, with Keys reaching the Olympic semifinals as well as making three finals and winning her second WTA title.

Moreover, Keys became the first American woman to be ranked in the top 10 since Serena Williams in 1999.

That success had Keys targeting the top five and a Grand Slam. But following her injuries, the No. 13 is now taking it one match at a time.

“I’m really just trying to kind of get my match rhythm back and feel more comfortable on the tennis court, so right now that’s kind of my main goal and focus,” Keys said.

Keys was reunited with former coach Lindsay Davenport in the offseason and also recently added Maria Sharapova’s former hitting partner, Dieter Kindlmann, to her team.

“It’s going well,” Keys said. “Lindsey and I have been working together for a couple of months now and I think the addition of Didi is really going well.”