Gael Monfils is off to winning start at Indian Wells

It was an early start at Indian Wells for Gael Monfils but a winning one as he beat Matthew Ebden 6-3, 6-3 on Friday.

While many of the big names will only start their tournament on Sunday, Monfils was Friday’s headline match as, having slipped to 42nd in the world rankings, he had to play in the first round.

He took just 71 minutes to see off Ebden, breaking the Australian’s serve four times on his way to a straight sets win.

Having played on for the past four weeks, Monfils admits it took him a bit of time to adjust to the hard court surface.

“The ball [was] flying quite a lot. It was not easy to adapt but today [I] was just lucky to get the win and in straight sets is always good,” he told the ATP World Tour website.

“I will be focused for the next one.”

Monfils will face John Isner, the world No 18, in the round of 64.

In other matches Marcos Baghdatis came through 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 against Yoshihito Nishioka and Alex De Minaur beat Jan-Lennard Struff 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) while Gilles Simon lost 6-7 (8), 7-6 (5), 6-3 to Pierre-Hugues Herbert.