Indian Wells, USA, 11 March 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Nick Kyrgios has made a promising tour return, scoring a straight-sets victory against Argentina’s Sebastian Baez in opening-round action at Indian Wells today.

Contesting his first tournament since the Australian Open, Kyrgios posted a commanding 6-4 6-0 win against the world No.60.

The Australian wildcard struck 12 aces in the 72-minute clash, helping him record his first top-100 singles victory of the season.

The 26-year-old Kyrgios, currently ranked No.132, now plays No.32-seeded Argentine Federico Delbonis in the second round.

Kyrgios was the only Australian man to score a win today, with Alexei Popyrin and Thanasi Kokkinakis both losing their first-round encounters.

In women’s singles action, qualifier Daria Saville continued her impressive run.

The 28-year-old Aussie recorded a third consecutive win in the Californian desert, posting a 6-3 6-2 victory against China’s Zhang Shuai. It snapped a five-match winning streak for world No.41 Zhang, who had claimed her third career WTA singles title in France last week.

Saville, currently ranked No.409 as she returns from an extended injury lay-off, will face ninth-seeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur in the second round.

It was a tough day for Zhang, who also exited in the women’s doubles competition alongside Australian partner Sam Stosur.

World No.96 Astra Sharma made the most of her lucky loser spot in the women’s singles draw, after earning a late promotion when German Andrea Petkovic withdrew due to injury.

Sharma defeated world No.62 Magda Linette of Poland 6-4 7-6(1), propelling the 26-year-old from Perth into a second-round meeting with 2021 finalist and No.13 seed Victoria Azarenka.

Aussies in action – Indian Wells

Women’s singles, first round
[Q] Daria Saville (AUS) d Zhang Shuai (CHN) 6-3 6-2
[LL] Astra Sharma (AUS) d Magda Linette (POL) 6-4 7-6(1)

Men’s singles, first round
[WC] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) d Sebastian Baez (ARG) 6-4 6-0
Sebastian Korda (USA) d [Q] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-3 6-4
[Q] Tomas Machac (CZE) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-3 7-5

Women’s doubles, first round
Alize Cornet (FRA)/Leylah Fernandez (CAN) d [2] Sam Stosur (AUS)/Zhang Shuai (CHN) 1-6 7-6(7) [10-8]

Men’s singles, first round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v David Goffin (BEL)

Men’s singles, second round
[29] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v TBC
[WC] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v [32] Federico Delbonis (ARG) 

Women’s singles, second round
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v [26] Sorana Cirstea (ROU)
[Q] Daria Saville (AUS) v [9] Ons Jabeur (TUN)
[LL] Astra Sharma (AUS) v [13] Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

Men’s doubles, first round
[5] John Peers (AUS)/Filip Polasek (SVK) v Marcelo Arevalo (ESA)/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED)
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Ivan Dodig (CRO)/Marcelo Melo (BRA)

Women’s doubles, first round
[8] Storm Sanders (AUS)
/Caroline Dolehide (USA) v Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR)/Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)/Maria Sakkari (GRE) v Petra Martic (CRO)/Shelby Rogers (USA)

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