Karen Khachanov claimed his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 victory on Thursday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden as he defeated Tommy Robredo 6-1, 7-5 in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open.
The #NextGenATP star is making his debut in Indian Wells and introduced himself to the Stadium 1 crowd in style, firing 12 aces and rallying from 5-3 down in the second set, saving a set point, before prevailing in 73 minutes.
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"It feel great. It's my first time here in Indian Wells," said Khachanov. "I've heard a lot about this tournament and I'm really happy that I could get through to the second round. Today I had to be ready from the first point, concentrate 100 per cent and play my game. That is the main focus in all the matches at the ATP World Tour level. I had to be there the whole match and fight to the end to get the win.
"It's a big tournament, but I didn't even think about it, that it's my first Masters 1000 win. I'm just going step by step through the levels."
The 20-year-old Khachanov is looking to kick start his 2017 campaign and ended a run of four successive first-round defeats. He next goes on to challenge 11th seed David Goffin for the first time.
Third seed Stan Wawrinka will open his campaign against Paolo Lorenzi after the Italian dismissed Robin Haase 6-4, 6-3.
Two American teenagers were left disappointed as Reilly Opelka fell 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 against German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk and Frances Tiafoe was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by Dusan Lajovic. But fellow American Bjorn Fratangelo enjoyed success, cruising past Bernard Tomic 6-2, 6-2 to set a second-round clash with 13th seed Tomas Berdych.
In a battle between two qualifiers, Darian King edged Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-5, 7-5. King, of Barbados, was playing his first main draw match at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament and earned a clash with 10th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils in the second round.
Other first-round winners on Thursday included Adrian Mannarino, Mikhail Kukushkin and Joao Sousa.