Novak Djokovic off the mark, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios bundled out
World No 1 Novak Djokovic kicked off his campaign for a sixth BNP Paribas Open title with a straight-sets win, but there will be no match-up with Nick Kyrgios in the third around as the Australian crashed out.
Djokovic racked up his 50th win at Indian Wells as he secured a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 victory over American Bjorn Fratangelo in one hour and 29 minutes.
“Credit to him. He played well and had nothing to lose. I thought his backhand was terrific, [he] was taking it on the rise,” Djokovic said.
“The first set was just hanging on to the ropes and trying to win that set. Then the second set, obviously with the first set under my belt, was slightly better. I ended the match in a positive fashion.”
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 10, 2019
Djokovic was initially tipped to face Mexican Open winner Kyrgios in the third round, but the Australian suffered a 6-4, 6-4 defeat at the hands of German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
“He’s an incredible competitor… I thought I didn’t play my best tennis today, but on certain points where I maybe had a little sniff or a little chance to get into the match, he came up with a really good shot to break me in the first set,” Kyrgios said.
“He’s just tough. He knows how to win tennis matches.”
Cool, calm and collected 😎
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 10, 2019
Ninth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was also bundled out as the Greek was stunned by Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The Canadian teenager beat his fellow NextGen star 6-4, 6-2 to set up a clash against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, who beat Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.
“I didn’t know what to expect today because he’s a completely different player (now),” Auger-Aliassime said.
“I believe in myself. I thought I had my chances. I served really well today, so that was obviously a big key.”
Rotterdam Open winner Gael Monfils battled to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Leonardo Mayer, seventh seed Dominic Thiem beat Jordan Thompson 6-4, 7-5 and 40-year-old Ivo Karlovic upset 10th seed Borna Coric 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).
Up next for Karlovic is Prajnesh Gunneswaran after the Indian continued his fairytale run with a stunning 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-4) win over 17th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Having made his ATP Masters 1000 debut earlier in the week, Gunneswaran now finds himself in the third round.
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