Britain's number one, Andy Murray continued to keep the United Jacks flying at Indian Wells, after Heather Watson's disappointing exit in the women's event. His first contest against the unseeded Adrian Mannarino from France, ended in a satisfactory straight-sets success for the world number four 6-3 6-3. The victory moved him all-square with the former British number one men's #Tennis player, Tim Henman, both players now showing a career total of 496 victories on the tour.
Despite losing his serve in the first set in the fifth game against Mannarino, Murray recovered and reeled off the last four games in succession to take the set in around 45 minutes of play. There was a certain symmetry to his match, as he took the second set in a further 44 minutes of game time. The second set proved slightly less fraught for the Brit, with break points created early on in the set that he failed to take, but the match was his for the taking when he did break in game five. Mannarino was unable to match his shock performance in the previous round, where he surprisingly knocked out the seeded Ernests Gulbis in two sets.
The extra win that the Scot needs to claim the record for a British player in the Open-era could prove to be a tricky one to take at the first opportunity, with Feliciano Lopez in fine form himself and upsetting the seeding in California by surprisingly beating Japanese star Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6. The Spaniard has the capability and more importantly the game, to trouble most of the top players and ably demonstrated that fact by knocking out the more-fancied Nishikori. He has perhaps never quite fulfilled his true potential though, especially on grass where his fast serve has helped him progress through to three Wimbledon quarter-finals but no further.Murray has yet to lose to world number 12, Lopez and will surely hope that he makes it ten wins out of ten when they meet in California. In those nine previous matches, he has only lost two sets, but will still be wise to be wary of the sliding leftie serve. The Mannarino match was probably good preparation from that point of view, as the Frenchman also serves left-handed. Murray's last meeting with Lopez was in 2014 at the Miami Masters, where he came through in straight-sets at the hard court tournament.