© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the Tour with 52 match wins this season.

Tsitsipas Soars Under The Lights In Indian Wells Opener

Greek to meet Italian Fognini next

A night in the desert is just to Stefanos Tsitsipas’ liking with the second seed shining under the lights to win his opening match against Pedro Martinez at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.

In his third appearance, the Greek moved into the third round at Indian Wells for the first time following a 6-2, 6-4 victory over the World No. 61. Tsitsipas needed 93 minutes to prevail as he claimed 63 per cent of first-serve points and 80 per cent on second serves.

The Greek’s 22 winners were four more than his opponent’s but he was far more consistent as he made just 11 unforced errors to the Spaniard’s 21. The win set a third-round clash against 25th seed Fabio Fognini, a three-set winner over Jan-Lennard Struff.

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“Well it’s been a great night for me. The first time playing a night session here on this court,” Tsitsipas said. “[I’m] pretty happy with the way I fought and found a way to clinch that victory at the end… I’ve played [Fognini] before. I’m looking forward to that match-up.”

Tsitsipas was on the hunt early but took 17 minutes of play to secure a 2-0 advantage at the fourth time of asking. He carried the momentum to snare the first set on the back of 11 winners – eight off his forehand – and committed just five unforced errors.

The Greek did not drop a set in the only previous ATP Head2Head meeting between the pair when they met in the second round at Roland Garros this year. But he was forced to dig deep to avoid their Indian Wells rematch going the distance.

Martinez immediately broke at the start of the second set and the World No. 61 consolidated for 3-1 before Tsitsipas began to back his extra weight of shot again. The second seed reeled off three straight games to edge his nose in front and broke for the second time to secure the contest.

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