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By Akshay Kohli
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Local boy Steve Johnson faces Pablo Andujar of Spain the first round of the BNP Paribas Open being played in Indian Wells, California. This event is the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the year and is mandatory event for all the top ranked players.
Johnson is presently ranked at a career best of No.134 in the World and entered the tournament as a wild card. With a third round showing at last year’s US Open, Johnson qualified for this year’s Australian Open and lost in the first round to Nicolas Almagro after playing a marathon five set match. He followed it with an impressive quarter-final stint at the SAP Open but failed to impress at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships. The 23 year old would be looking to get the crowd support as he would be looking to break into the Top-100 soon.
Andujar on the other hand has been ranked as high as No.33 in the World and is the two time Grand Prix Hassan II Champion. Primarily a clay court player, Andujar has failed to reach deep into a tournament this year and would be looking to change that soon. Presently ranked at No.46 in the World, Andujar comes into this match with 2-7 win-loss record, indicating the problems the Spaniard has had in stringing together match wins.
This is the first meeting between the two with no clear favorite to win this match.
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