Eighth seed Dominic Thiem made a winning start at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday as he dismissed Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-4 in 74 minutes. The Austrian saved five of the six break points he faced as he claimed his 15th win of the season.
The 23-year-old Thiem, who reached the fourth round at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden last year (l. to Tsonga), is coming off a successful February, which saw him capture his eighth ATP World Tour title in Rio de Janeiro (d. Carreno Busta).
Thiem goes on to face Mischa Zverev, who defeated Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3. Zverev is making his first appearance in the third round in Indian Wells, just two years removed from winning nine matches to qualify for the main draw.
"It's crazy to think I had to play pre-qualifying here two years ago," Zverev said. "I've never had to win seven matches to just be in a qualifying tournament. I got here 10 days before the first qualifying match was played, but I really enjoyed my time here. I came with a buddy and we had a routine: come in the morning, play the match and then go to Five Guys and have some frozen yogurt across the street. We then had a hit in the evening and did that the whole week. I won it and qualified for the main draw, which was the first ATP main draw since my wrist surgery."
Former finalist John Isner made the most of the scorching conditions in the Coachella Vallery as he struck 23 aces in a 7-6(0), 7-6(6) victory over Mikhail Kukushkin. The 20th-seeded American was runner-up at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in 2012, beating Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Roger Federer.
Lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka continued to take advantage of his good fortune as he reached the third round with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over 19th seed Ivo Karlovic. After losing to Elias Ymer in the final round of qualifying, Nishioka then beat the Swede in the main draw first round after being granted the lucky loser spot. He is through to the third round of a Masters 1000 for the second time, having also done so as a qualifier in Miami last year (l. to Thiem).
No. 11 seed David Goffin finished strongly in a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over #NextGenATP Karen Khachanov. Khachanov went up a break at 3-2 in the decider, but Goffin promptly reeled off the next four games to prevail in one hour and 55 minutes.
The 26-year-old Goffin made his debut in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings last month after a strong start to the season, which saw him reach the Australian Open quarterfinals (l. to Dimitrov) and finals in Sofia (l. to Dimitrov) and Rotterdam (l. to Tsonga).
In a match lasting two and a half hours, Fabio Fognini outlasted seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4. The 29-year-old Italian let slip a break advantage twice in the third set before breaking Tsonga decisively in the ninth game and closing out a hard-fought win.
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