Canadian NextGen star Felix Auger Aliassime ousted in-form Cameron Norrie to reach the second round of the BNP Paribas as The Sunshine Double got properly up and running in Indian Wells on Thursday.
The 18-year-old dismissed British No. 2 Norrie, who reached a career high of No. 48 on Monday following his recent successes, including a deep run to the semifinals in Acapulco last week. The Canadian teenager raced to victory in a little over an hour, cleaning up the opening set 6-3 in 33 minutes.
Auger-Aliassime, who reached his first ATP final at last month’s Rio Open, continued his dominance in the second, clinching it 6-2 to wrap up a far more comfortable opening win at in the Californian desert than he, or Norrie, would have envisaged. He now faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in round two.
Martin Klizan also safely progressed, easing past Mischa Zverev in 71 mins 6-1 6-4. 40-year-old Ivo Karlovic registered his first win since the Australian Open, nudging past Matt Edben in two two tie-breaked sets.
Phillipp Kohlschreiber defeated Pierres-Hugues Herbert for the loss of just four games on Stadium 2, to ensure safe passage into the last 64.
On the women’s side, Venus Williams fought back to win through against German Andrea Petkovic, despite dropping the second stanza 6-0. There were also first round victories for Yulia Putintseva against Hungary’s Timea Babos, while home hope Madison Brengle impressed en route to a 6-2 6-3 victory over Sam Stosur.
BNP Paribas Open Day 1
British No. 1 Johanna Konta progressed with a straight-set win over France’s Pauline Parmentier on Day 1. It was a important win for Konta, who has endured a less than satisfactory start to 2019, by her own high standards. Konta was the only British woman to make the main draw, after Katie Boulter fell to Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland in the final round of qualifying.
Konta prevailed 6-2 6-3 in one hour 30 minutes in California, and will face Su-Wei Hsieh in the second. The world number 45 broke the 33-year-old twice in each set and saved 10 of the 11 break points she faced. Eastbourne-resident Konta will face Su-Wei Hsieh in the second round, after the Taiwanese player received a by into round two.
In the final round of men’s qualifying, the in-form Dan Evans beat American Noah Rubin 6-1 6-1 to reach the main draw. Evans will face three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round on Friday. The pair played out a very entertaining fourth round encounter in Flushing Meadows, back in 2016 with the Swiss eventually emerging as victor in a 5th set.