South African former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson has improved his ATP Head2Head record to 3-0 against Australia’s Jordan Thompson after a straight-sets win in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday.
The three-time Indian Wells quarter-finalist had never dropped a set to the 27-year-old and maintained that record with a 7-5, 6-2 victory in 84 minutes. In his 10th appearance in the California desert Anderson struck 10 aces and dropped only three points on his first serve to set a second-round meeting with 17th seed Lorenzo Sonego.
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It was better news for Thompson’s countryman, John Millman, in the following match on Stadium 2. The World No. 58’s mental toughness shone as he withstood 2017 semi-finalist Jack Sock 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 31 minutes.
Millman won 66 per cent of first-serve points, including four aces, and broke five times. He recovered from 1-3 down in the deciding set to reel off the final five games and set a showdown against 10th seed Jannik Sinner.
Earlier, Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori finished emphatically to deny German Dominik Koepfer in their first-round clash. The 22-year-old saved nine of 11 break points for a 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-0 victory, which set a meeting with 24th seed and Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Karen Khachanov.