American qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo lined up the biggest match of his career on Friday at Indian Wells, beating Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-4 to set up a second-round meeting with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Fratangelo is a former French Open juniors champion.
“I feel amazing,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to get my first ATP win, and to do it in a 1,000 event, to play Djokovic, it’s a pretty surreal feeling. I’m going to enjoy this as much as I can right now.”
No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal’s opening-round opponent was revealed when giant-serving veteran Gilles Muller of Luxembourg beat Victor Estrella 7-5, 6-3.
Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin topped Spain’s Daniel Munoz 7-6(1), 6-2 to line up a meeting with No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori.
Other qualifiers punching through to the second round were Slovakia’s Jozef Kovalik topping fellow qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 6-4, 6-7(9), 7-6(5), and France’s Vincent Millot beating American wildcard Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-3.
Notable un-seeds into the second round were German riser Alexander Zverev coming from a set down to beat Croatian Ivan Dodig 3-6, 7-5, 6-3; Spanish veteran Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco topping Canuck qualifier Peter Polansky 7-6(4), 6-3; Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez putting down erstwhile Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 7-6(2); and Canuck Vasek Pospisil struggling past American wildcard Jared Donaldson 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 6-3.
Zverev won in three after his opponent Dodig popped himself in the face with his own racquet, causing bleeding and a medical time-out.
“I thought he twisted his ankle at the first, but then I saw him bleeding pretty close to the eye and I was like, wow, he probably hit himself with the racquet,” said Zverev, who will next meet Grigor Dimitrov. “I don’t know what happened, to be quite honest. I didn’t see it, but he started bleeding quite heavily then.”
Pospisil needed almost three hours to set up a meeting with Gilles Simon.
“I’m happy with the way I played and the way I fought,” Pospisil said. “The conditions were tough here. They’re polar opposite from what I played last week [in Davis Cup], so it’s a little bit of an adjustment, but [Donaldson] played a good match and he surprised me a little bit. He was playing well, and I had to play some great tennis to win today.”
Going past 2 a.m. EST on Saturday morning were Juan Monaco vs. Michael Berrer, and Donald Young vs. Andreas Seppi.
Matches to look for Saturday afternoon in Indian Wells include (6) Tomas Berdych vs. (WC) Juan Martin Del Potro, (Q) Ryan Harrison vs. (10) Marin Cilic, (8) Richard Gasquet vs. Nicolas Mahut, Borna Coric vs. (29) Thomaz Bellucci, (15) David Goffin vs. (WC) Frances Tiafoe, and (17) Bernard Tomic vs. Rajeev “Rampras” Ram.
SATURDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – D. Allertova (CZE) vs  A. Kerber (GER)
ATP –  T. Berdych (CZE) vs [WC] J. Del Potro (ARG)
ATP – M. Granollers (ESP) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
WTA –  S. Stephens (USA) vs E. Bouchard (CAN)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – I. Marchenko (UKR) vs  S. Wawrinka (SUI)
Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA –  A. Ivanovic (SRB) vs C. Giorgi (ITA)
STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – I. Cervantes (ESP) vs  M. Raonic (CAN)
ATP –  G. Monfils (FRA) vs P. Carreno Busta (ESP)
WTA – C. Mchale (USA) vs  G. Muguruza (ESP)
ATP – [Q] R. Harrison (USA) vs  M. Cilic (CRO)
Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) vs  B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
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