(Reuters) – Stefanos Tsitsipas stormed into the third round at Indian Wells for the first time in his career on Sunday, as the second seed beat Spaniard Pedro Martinez 6-2 6-4 under lights to set up a clash with Fabio Fognini.
The Greek broke serve to take a 2-0 lead in the opening set which he claimed with ease, but he was made to work much harder in the next set by his unseeded opponent.
World number 61 Martinez, who lost the pair’s only previous meeting in straight sets at Roland Garros earlier this year, was determined to push Tsitsipas all the way as he raced ahead 3-1 in the second set with an early break.
But French Open runner-up Tsitsipas quickly found his rhythm again to claw his way back and close out the contest in style.
“Well it’s been a great night for me. The first time playing a night session here on this court,” Tsitsipas, making only his third appearance in the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in the Southern California desert, said.
Tsitsipas fired 23 winners, including 12 in the second set, and made only six unforced errors in the match.
“I’m pretty happy with the way I fought and found a way to clinch that victory at the end,” Tsitsipas said, before turning his attention to Italian Fognini, who went through with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over German Jan-Lennard Struff.
“I’ve played Fognini before,” Tsitsipas added of their two previous meetings, both of which the Greek won in straight sets. “I’m looking forward to that match.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)