BNP PARIBAS OPEN 2013
Hewitt, Tomic, Nalbandian Win Openers
Indian Wells, U.S.A.
Former World No. 1 and two-time BNP Paribas Open champion Lleyton Hewitt will face 2012 runner-up John Isner in the second round after withstanding the challenge of Lukas Rosol Thursday evening in the first round. The Australian won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in one hour and 35 minutes, converting four of his 12 break points.
"It was tough conditions, really cold and windy," said Hewitt. "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."
The 32-year-old Hewitt, who has dropped to No. 98 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, has not won back-to-back matches in 2013. The Adelaide native is bidding to rediscover his form at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, where he lifted the trophy in 2002 (d. Henman) and 2003 (d. Kuerten); he also finished runner-up in 2005 (l. to Federer).
"This is one of my favorite tournaments," said Hewitt. "I love the conditions, I love everything about this tournament. It's been one of my favorite stops over the years. Last year I couldn't play because of surgery, so it's good to be back.
"It's going to be a tough match [against Isner]. I've had the better of him in the past. Then lost to him in a tight match in the final of Newport last year. He obviously played really well here last year too. I'll go out there, play my game and see what happens."
Hewitt was joined in the second round by countryman Bernard Tomic, who opened his campaign with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.The 20-year-old Tomic, who won his first ATP World Tour title at the start of the season in Sydney (d. Anderson), broke serve once in each set for victory in 68 minutes.
Belgium’s David Goffin recorded his third tour-level win of the season as he overcame Viktor Troicki of Serbia 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in just under two hours. The 22-year-old Goffin made his breakthrough with a run to the fourth round as a qualifier at Roland Garros last year (l. to Federer) and is playing in Indian Wells for the first time.
Former World No. 3 David Nalbandian saved seven of eight break points as he defeated Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 46 minutes. The 31-year-old Argentine, a two-time quarter-finalist at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, recently returned to action with a runner-up showing in Sao Paulo (l. to Nadal) after a six-month injury lay off.
World No. 37 Kevin Anderson took another stride in his comeback from elbow surgery, defeating Victor Hanescu 7-6(6), 6-3 in 88 minutes. The South African returned to action with a quarter-final showing in Delray Beach last week (l. to Isner) and improved to a 10-3 mark on the season.
Ryan Harrison set a second-round clash with two-time former champion Rafael Nadal after defeating Go Soeda 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 in the final match of the day. Harrison capitalised on four of his six break points to seal the win in one hour and 46 minutes.