Casper Ruud lost his first match in six week on Wednesday as the sixth seed was upset 6-3, 6-3 in the Indian Wells Masters fourth round by Diego Schwartzman,
The Argentine pocket rocket who stands only 1.7 metres, ended a nine-match win streak for the Norwegian sixth seed whose five titles lead the ATP this season.
Ruud missed out on his 50th win of the season and now stands 49-13 as he bids to make up ground and qualify into the eight-man field for next month’s ATP Finals in Turin; he currently stands .seventh but will be looking to solidify that standing. Schwartzman needed nearly one and three-quarter hours to earn his sixth career quarter final at the Masters 1000 level, breaking Ruud three times.
Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz, provisional ninth in the race to Turin, improved his chances of making the year-end field as he defeated Aslan Karatsev 6-1, 6-4.
The Polish winner needed barely an hour to advance, crushing the Russian with six aces and five breaks of serve.
Hurkacz took quick revenge for a loss in San Diego to Karatsev a fortnight ago with his victory into the last eight. He duplicated his quarter-final here two years ago.
“Today’s performance was good on my side,” the winner said. “I returned well, making a lot of balls.
“I was also getting some free points on the serve, which was also important.