INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Reuters) – Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime won a battle of young guns by beating ninth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-2 on Saturday to advance to the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.
Mar 9, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) reacts after defaeting Stefanos Tsitsipas (not pictured) during his second match in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The 18-year-old, the youngest player in the world top 100, fired an unreturnable serve on match point to take down the 20-year-old Greek — the youngest player in the top 10.
While the outcome was an upset on paper, Auger-Aliassime held a 3-0 advantage over Tsitsipas when they met as juniors.
“I didn’t know what to expect today because he’s a completely different player (now),” said Auger-Aliassime.
“I believe in myself. I thought I had my chances. I served really well today, so that was obviously a big key.”
Next up for last month’s Rio Open finalist is either Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka or Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who play their second-round match later on Saturday.
World number one Novak Djokovic picked up steam during his second-round match against American Bjorn Fratangelo as he goes in search of his 74th ATP title.
Djokovic sprinted over to the stands to shake hands with his idol, 14-times Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras, immediately after the 7-6(5) 6-2 win.
A sharp Philipp Kohlschreiber broke Nick Kyrgios twice en route to a 6-4 6-4 win that took just over an hour.
Kohlschreiber deployed a wide variety of shots to keep the 23-year-old Australian guessing and managed to save all five of Kyrgios’ break-point opportunities.
American qualifier Marcos Giron battled back to down 23rd seed Alex de Minaur 1-6 6-4 6-2 for the biggest win of his career.
Playing in just his fourth ATP tournament, the Southern Californian settled down after a shaky first set to dispatch the 20-year-old Australian.
Giron, 25, will be a heavy underdog when he faces Canadian 13 seed Milson Raonic, who pounded down 18 aces to send American Sam Querrey packing from Indian Wells for the second consecutive year with a 7-6(1) 6-4 victory.
France’s Gael Monfils outlasted Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer 6-4 3-6 6-3 under blue skies on the stadium court.
With the win Monfils, who won last month’s Rotterdam Open, improved his 2019 record to 13-3.
He will next face Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas, who upset 15th-seeded Italian Marco Cecchinato in their second-round meeting.
Third seed Alexander Zverev had a stress-free opening match of the tournament, winning 6-3 2-0 over Martin Klizan, who was forced to retire with a right ankle injury in the second set.
India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic and France’s Gilles Simon were among the other players to advance to the third round on Saturday.
Reporting by Rory Carroll; editing by Nick Mulvenney/Peter Rutherford