Vukic sets all-Aussie second round at Indian Wells
Aleksander Vukic will meet Alex de Minaur in all-Australian second round at Indian Wells, with John Millman also progressing at the ATP 1000 event.
Aleksandar Vukic has set up an all-Australian second round meeting with Alex de Minaur at Indian Wells, with an impressive win over Pablo Andujar.
Vukic, a qualifier at the ATP 1000 tournament, defeated the Spaniard 7-5 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes.
At world No.202, Vukic is ranked more than 100 places below the world No.96 Andujar.
The Australian refused to be intimidated by that rankings gap, maintaining composure throughout the 50-minute first set and similarly steely as he completed his first main draw win at the Californian event.
Vukic dropped serve twice against the experienced Andujar but converted four of his seven break point opportunities in a confidence-boosting victory.
Vukic recorded five aces, and not a single double fault, to book a first career meeting with De Minaur.
John Millman also progressed to the second round of the prestigious tournament, withstanding a tough challenge from wildcard entrant Jack Sock.
The 58th-ranked Queenslander toiled for two-and-a-half hours to complete a 7-5 4-6 6-3 victory over the world No.162 American.
A tight contest ultimately came down to greater efficiency from Millman, whose 38 unforced errors were six less than Sock recorded. He hit 25 winners, compared to 27 from Sock.
After trailing 1-3 in the final set, Millman’s trademark fighting spirit was also on show; he claimed the last five games to complete the win.
Millman next faces young Italian Jannik Sinner, who is the No.10 seed at Indian Wells.
Earlier in the day, two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson produced a dominant serving display against Jordan Thompson. The South African fired 10 aces and conceded 14 points in total on his service games in a 7-5 6-2 victory.
In men’s doubles action, second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury recorded a three-set opening-round win against Australia’s Luke Saville and Brit Cameron Norrie. The US Open champions were tested early, but fought back to score a 4-6 6-3 [10-8] victory.
Australia’s Alex de Minaur and American Reilly Opelka also lost in the first round of the doubles tournament, with Russian combination Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev advancing with a 6-4 6-4 win.
Aussies in action – Indian Wells
Men’s singles, first round
[Q] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d Pablo Andujar (ESP) 7-5 6-4
John Millman (AUS) d [WC] Jack Sock (USA) 7-5 4-6 6-3
Kevin Anderson (RSA) d Jordan Thompson (AUS) 7-5 6-2
Men’s doubles, first round
 Rajeev Ram (USA)/Joe Salisbury (GBR) d Luke Saville (AUS)/Cameron Norrie (GBR) 4-6 6-3 [10-8]
Aslan Karatsev (RUS)/Andrey Rublev (RUS) d Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Reilly Opelka (USA) 6-4 6-4
Men’s singles, second round
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [Q] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v  Hubert Hurkacz (POL)
John Millman (AUS) v  Jannik Sinner (ITA)
Women’s singles, second round
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v  Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
[Q] Astra Sharma (AUS) v  Daria Kasatkina (RUS)
Men’s doubles, first round
 John Peers (AUS)/Filip Polasek (SVK) v Ariel Behar (URU)/Gonzlao Escobar (ECU)
Women’s doubles, first round
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)/Shelby Rogers (USA) v Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR)/Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)