Indian Wells Open 2019: Gunneswaran Wins First Ever Masters 1000 Match
Gunneswaran won 7-6, 6-4 in blustery conditions that saw both players exchange multiple breaks of serve before the Indian settled down and broke Paire in the ninth game of the second set for the last time. He served it out in the next to complete a career-best win.
Paire, who is a former top-20 player, failed to get into any sort of a rhythm and that allowed the first-timer Gunneswaran to keep in touch with the Frenchman in the first set. The 29-year-old Indian was playing in his first ever match at a Masters event, having qualified for it by defeating Jason Jung and Salvatore Caruso during the qualifiers.
Gunneswaran will now take on 17th seeded and in-form Nikoloz Basilashvili for a place in the third round of the Indian Wells Masters. Basilashvili had an opening round bye.
In some of the other first round matches of the day, Bjorn Fratangelo defeated fellow qualifier Elias Ymer to book his place against Novak Djokovic in the second round while Philipp Kohlschreiber used all his experience to make it further with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Kohlschreiber will face Nick Kyrgios in the second round.
Ivo Karlovic needed two tie-breakers to defeat Matthew Ebden and set up a second round meeting with fellow Croatian Borna Coric, while Malek Jaziri overcame Blaz Kahn to set up a Gilles Simon encounter.
Martin Klizan prevented a Zverev brothers reunion in the second round when he surprised Mischa in the opener, winning in straight sets while Marcos Giron shocked Jeremy Chardy in his opener.