Monfils up and running, De Minaur claims first Masters win
Gael Monfils was in full flight as he opened his Indian Wells campaign with a win, while talented Australian Alex de Minaur enjoyed a successful Masters debut.
Entertaining Frenchman Monfils was too good for Matthew Ebden on Friday, winning in straight sets.
Teenager De Minaur produced a spirited display to earn a second-round showdown with Juan Martin del Potro.
Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren also won his maiden Masters match, while Marton Fucsovics will face second seed Marin Cilic in the next round.
ALL POSITIVE FOR MONFILS
Monfils was a class above as he saw off Ebden 6-3 6-3 at the ATP Tour tournament.
A quarter-finalist in 2016, Monfils broke Ebden on four occasions and rallied from 2-0 down in the second set as he improved to 12-5 for the year.
"The ball [was] flying quite a lot. It was not easy to adapt but today [I] was just lucky to get the win and in straight sets is always good. I will be focused for the next one," said Monfils, who will go head-to-head with 2012 winner John Isner in the second round.
DE MINAUR – REMEMBER THE NAME
The 19-year-old battled to a 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) victory over Jan-Lennard Struff.
De Minaur was on court for two hours, 34 minutes as he came back from a set down to overcome the German.
The Australian, who reached the Brisbane International semi-finals before going on to feature in the Sydney International decider, only broke once throughout but it was enough to see him celebrate his Masters debut in style.
It does not get any easier for De Minaur, with 2009 US Open champion Del Potro next up.
SANDGREN WINS ON DEBUT
It just continues to get better for Sandgren in 2018.
After reaching a maiden grand slam quarter-final at Melbourne Park in January, Sandgren added another milestone to his list on Friday.
The American celebrated his first Masters triumph when Nikoloz Basilashvili retired down 6-3 2-1.
David Ferrer stands in the way of a third-round berth for Sandgren.
As for Hungary's Fucsovics, he earned his first Indian Wells victory by upstaging Viktor Troicki 7-6 (7-3) 6-1.