Skip to main content


Murray wins opening match at what is expected to be his last Indian Wells appearance

Andy Murray Andy Murray - The Canadian Press

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Andy Murray began what is expected to be his final appearance at the BNP Paribas Open with a smooth performance and a straightforward victory, beating David Goffin 6-3, 6-2 on Day 1 in the desert Wednesday.

The biggest news happened away from the court: 22-time major champion Rafael Nadal withdrew a day before he was scheduled to play his first-round match. Indian Wells was supposed to mark his return to action after being sidelined since January because of a torn muscle near his surgically repaired hip.

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1-ranked player now at No. 61, never faced a break point while grabbing a trio of Goffin's service games. From 3-all at the start, Murray surged ahead by winning the last three games and 10 points of the opening set on a cloudy afternoon with winds topping 10 mph (15 kph).

That later gave way to heavy rain that caused a lengthy delay in the evening. Eventually all matches were suspended for the day, including 43-year-old Venus Williams' first contest in about six months. The seven-time major champion, who hadn't played since a first-round loss at the U.S. Open in late August, played just two games against Nao Hibino before they stopped at 1-all.

Murray is a 36-year-old from Scotland with an artificial hip. He improved to 8-0 against Goffin, taking all 17 sets they've played against each other.

Murray, the 2009 runner-up at Indian Wells, told reporters last month that he is likely to retire before this season is over, saying: “I don’t plan on playing much past this summer.”

He entered Wednesday with a 2-6 mark this year. He moved into a second-round meeting with No. 5 Andrey Rublev, who was defaulted from a match last week for screaming in the face of a line judge.

Elsewhere on the hard courts in California, wild-card entry Brandon Nakashima won the first tour-level match he’s played this season, defeating 2023 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Chris Eubanks 6-3, 7-6 (3), while other men advancing included Thanasi Kokkinakis and Christopher O’Connell. Winners in the women’s draw included three-time major champion Angelique Kerber, who is back on tour after becoming a mother, along with Tatjana Maria and Marie Bouzkova.

Paula Badosa, the 2021 champion at Indian Wells who received a wild card into this year's field, pulled out because of a long-term back injury — a day after participating with boyfriend Stefanos Tsitsipas in an exhibition doubles match.


AP tennis: