ATP Indian Wells: Winning start for Verdasco, Medvedev and Donaldson


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ATP Indian Wells: Winning start for Verdasco, Medvedev and Donaldson

Daniil Medvedev notched his first Masters 1000 win and the ninth of the season after a 7-6 6-4 triumph over Steve Johnson in an hour and 25 minutes. This was the third win for the Russian over the American, ousting him twice in 2017 as well, and he earned it with a fine serving, firing 10 aces and facing just two break points.

Steve managed to break him once but Daniil scored two breaks from five opportunities, playing better in the closing stages of both sets to move into the second round. Both players served well right from the start and the only deuces came in game three when Johnson withstood four deuces to avoid break points and stay in touch with his rival.

It was all about Medvedev in the tie break, scoring three mini-breaks and closing it with an ace for a 7-0 after 47 minutes. A backhand winner gave Daniil a significant break of serve in game four of the second set but Johnson shifted into a higher gear after that, winning 12 points in a row (he broke Daniil with a forehand return winner in game seven) to level the score at 4-4.

The American had to serve to stay in the match in game 10 and the pressure was too strong, sending a backhand long to give Daniil the crucial break that sent the youngster over the finish line. The fourth best-ranked American Jared Donaldson grabbed his 14th Masters 1000 win and the first at Indian Wells after a 6-1 4-6 6-4 triumph over Evan King in 2 hours and 7 minutes. The youngster came to Indian Wells after a great run in Acapulco and he played a decent match today as well, serving at only 53% but facing just two break points.

King broke him once and that was enough to give him the second set but overall he couldn't follow Jared's pace, getting broken three times from five chances he offered to Donaldson. The younger American stormed over his rival in the opening set, securing breaks in games two and six for a 6-1 and King raised his level in set number two to stay in touch in the opening nine games, saving a break point at 4-4 that kept him in contention.

It proved to be an even more important when he broke Jared in game 10 to take the set 6-4 and set up a decider, with the momentum on his side. Donaldson made sure to get it back as soon as possible, breaking at the start of the final set and keeping the lead until the end, fending off a break point in game 10 to seal the deal and advance into the last 64.

First round results:

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