Competing in only the eighth match of the season and the first since Melbourne, a former world no. 3 Grigor Dimitrov needed just an hour to dismiss Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-3 and score the 82nd Masters 1000 win. This was the sixth encounter between these two and the fourth win for the Bulgarian who lost just eight points on serve, delivering fury from both the first and second serve to sail through his games and avoid break points.
The Spaniard was nowhere near that pace, dropping almost half of the points behind the initial shot and losing serve four times from 12 chances he gave to Grigor who finished the encounter with 20 winners and only nine unforced errors.
Dimitrov had a clear advantage in the mid-range exchanges and he was in control right from the start, serving at 15 in the first game and converting the fifth break point with a volley winner to open a 2-0 lead. Feliciano netted a forehand at 1-4 to lose serve for the second time, allowing Grigor to complete the opener on won serve in the next game after just 27 minutes.
Playing better and better as the match progressed, Dimitrov gave away two points on serve in set number two and earned breaks in games five and nine to march into the third round, scoring an important win after missing almost two months.
The struggling Belgian David Goffin was beaten in the quarter-final of Phoenix Challenger last week against the player ranked outside the top-150 and he is eager to make a much better run in Miami, opening the campaign with a 6-4 6-1 win over Pablo Andujar in an hour and 30 minutes.
The Spaniard had his chances but he converted just two out nine break points, struggling to keep the serve safe and allowing David to claim five breaks and move into the third round. Jordan Thompson notched the third Masters 1000 victory, defeating the 10th seed Karen Khachanov 6-2, 6-3 after another weak performance from the Russian who is on a miserable 7-7 score so far in 2019.
The Aussie controlled the pace in his games, saving the only break point he faced and picking up almost half of the return points for three breaks of serve and the place in the third round. Khachanov sprayed more than 30 unforced errors and will have to find something special on clay to regain the composure and battle for the place in the top-10.
Jordan was in charge from the very first game, holding at love and breaking Karen in game two for an early lead, securing the set with the second break in game eight for a 6-2. The Russian fought better in set number two until 3-3 before suffering a break at love in game eight after a costly double fault.
Serving for the win, Thompson fired a service winner in the following game to book the place in the third round happy with the way he performed against the better-ranked opponent. Just like Dimitrov, Kevin Anderson was sidelined since the Australian Open due to an elbow injury and had to work in the comeback match, beating Jaume Munar 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 11 minutes, firing 17 aces but losing serve twice, finishing the clash with just two points more than the young Spaniard.
Munar found the way to take the second set before losing ground at the start of the decider, falling 3-0 down and having no chance to pull the break back by the end of the match.