Alex de Minaur has beaten John Millman in an all-Australian affair to reach the third round of the Indian Wells Masters in California.
De Minaur’s 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 victory was his fourth from four meetings with Millman, all coming in straight sets.
But this battle was at least closer, Millman making the Australian No.1 fight to take the initiative in a first-set tiebreaker.
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But continuing in the form that helped the 23-year-old star in Australia’s Davis Cup qualifying victory over Hungary this month, de Minaur eventually prevailed in on hour and 40 minutes.
Seeded 29th, de Minaur next plays Tommy Paul, who brought more misery on Alexander Zverev with a 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-2) upset win over the world NO.3.
Zverev was making his first appearance since being placed on a suspended ban for his infamous outburst at the Mexican Open, which the German described as “the biggest mistake of my tennis career”.
De Minaur’s countryman Jordan Thompson lost his second-round clash with Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.
Dimitrov will play Alexander Bublik, a 7-6 (11-9) winner over Andy Murray.
Wildcard Nick Kyrgios will face world No.8 Casper Ruud in the round of 32 on Monday night as the headline act under lights in the California desert.
Earlier on Sunday, 31st-seeded Kazakhstani Bublik got revenge against Andy Murray by beating the Scot 7-6 (11-9) 6-3 to notch his first win over the former world No.1 in three career meetings.
Andrey Rublev accounted for Dominik Koepfer 7-5 6-4 for his 10th straight victory.
Seventh-seeded Rublev trails only Rafael Nadal’s mark of 16-0 in 2022, having won titles in Dubai and Marseille.
Others to advance to the third round included Italian sixth-seed Matteo Berrettini, Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Americans Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, John Isner and Steve Johnson.
The seeded players to bow out in the second round were Felix Auger-Aliassime, Aslan Karatsev and Marin Cilic.