There were few surprises on the men’s side as the un-seeds battled each other on Day 1 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Among the bigger names into round two were David Nalbandian, Bernard Tomic, Kevin Anderson, Ryan Harrison who needed three sets to beat Japan’s Go Soeda after winning the first set 6-0, and former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt who outlasted Lukas Rosol 6-1 in the third.
“It was tough conditions, really cold and windy,” said Hewitt, who will next meet John Isner. “First set early on we both could have got breaks and then I had a lot more opportunities as the set went on. I played pretty well, felt like I was making him play a lot of balls and I was able to get that under my belt. Early in the second set I played a bit of a loose game and he got a lot more confident. He served well for the rest of the second set, which put me under pressure. The third set I tried to get onto his serve again at the start, I was able to do that, fought hard to go up a break. Then I got better as the match went on.”
On the women’s side in first-round action the notable winners were American Jamie Hampton topping countrywoman (WC) Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-1 in the third, American (WC) Madison Keys outlasting countrywoman Melanie Oudin in three, and American (WC) Taylor Townsend getting her first WTA win, beating Lucie Hradecka from a set down.
“Honestly I didn’t think it was a very good match from either of us, particularly the first set,” Oudin said. “I just thought we both made so many errors. It got better as the match went on, but the first set was terrible, just the amount of mistakes we were both making. Our matches are usually good. It’s hard playing a friend, another American – she knows what I’ll do and I know what she’ll do.”
The 16-year-old American Townsend credited a new fitness regime coming into the season.
“I always thought I belonged at this level. It’s so surreal — it’s coming to pass,” she said. “This was the first year I’ve really buckled down and had a good pre-season. I got a new trainer and we hit it hard for six weeks — I also went back to the basics and worked on some stuff in practice. It’s the first year I’ve done that consistently, and I can see the work coming to fruition. I’ve had to give up eating a lot of stuff, and I’ve had to start eating a lot of stuff I don’t really like, like brussel sprouts. I think that’s typical for a lot of kids, though. But I’m starting to like it.”
Matches to look for Friday are (13) Maria Kirilenko vs. American upstart Christina Mchale, former Slam winner Francesca Schiavone vs. (2) Maria Sharapova, and (18) Jelena Jankovic vs. former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova.
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
P Andujar (ESP) vs [WC] S Johnson (USA) – ATP
 M Kirilenko (RUS) vs C Mchale (USA) – WTA
[WC] J Blake (USA) vs R Haase (NED) – ATP
F Schiavone (ITA) vs  M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 7:00 PM
[WC] M Sanchez (USA) vs  A Radwanska (POL) – WTA
Not Before 8:30 PM
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs M Cilic (CRO) / J Erlich (ISR) – ATP
STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
 P Kvitova (CZE) vs O Govortsova (BLR) – WTA
[WC] J Sock (USA) vs [Q] I Karlovic (CRO) – ATP
 J Jankovic (SRB) vs S Kuznetsova (RUS) – WTA
B Becker (GER) vs [Q] B Reynolds (USA) – ATP
L Arruabarrena-Vecino (ESP) vs  V Lepchenko (USA) – WTA
G Dimitrov (BUL) / F Nielsen (DEN) vs  A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) – ATP
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