彩神官方下载官方Tennis players try to find rhythm at Indian Wells challenger

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WASHINGTON, March 2 (Xinhua) -- For players competing on the ATP tour, the Indian Wells tennis challenger can be a perfect opportunity to hone their skills or find their way back to the elite group.

There are currently five cities that host tour-level and challenger tournaments, but only Indian Wells features both events in consecutive weeks. The Indian Wells challenger, which is held this week, will be followed by the prestigious Masters 100 event next week.

"Playing more matches is important, so I decided to come here," said Russian star Andrey Rublev, who is seeking a top 100 return after struggling with a back injury last year.

"I played the Masters 100 three or four times and I always lost first round. I even came here a week earlier but it never helped. But now I'm playing real matches at the challenger and feeling all the emotions here, so I'm better prepared. I just really love the Indian Wells atmosphere and it's my favourite trip of the year," added the world No. 112.

"It's a challenger, but it's a really tough one. There are so many good players and it's good to play with them at this tournament."

The tournament is also special for top seed Kyle Edmund, who is in his comeback from a knee injury. The world No. 27 and British No. 1 has already made the quarterfinals here, and he hopes for a deep run which could help him kick-start the Masters event.

"I'd only played two matches at the start of the year," said Edmund. "But you can only play matches if you win and it's not easy here. With two tournaments at the same venue and being slightly different conditions in the desert, it makes sense to come here and try to basically start the year. So far, I'm happy with how I'm progressing."

"The challenger is good for the guys playing the Masters 100 event at the same time. It makes sense to come here early. Throughout the year we're constantly traveling and always moving from one tournament to the next every week. To be in the same place for two to three weeks is great."

While both Edmund and Rublev are looking to rediscover their elite level, Lloyd Harris is trying to use this event as preparation for the top-tier tournaments. The world No. 99 is coming off a title run at the ATP challenger tour event in Launceston, Australia, which propelled him to the top 100 for the first time.

The newest star from South Africa is gearing up for his first appearance in qualifying for an ATP Masters 100 event. But first, he has his sights set on a fourth challenger crown.

"I thought it would be really good preparation to get used to the courts and I think it was a good decision," Harris said. "This doesn't feel like a challenger to be honest. I just played a couple ATP 2100 events and this feels no different. Both my matches here have been incredibly tough."