Tennys Sandgren needed nine match points to advance while fellow American Sam Querrey was upset in first-round action Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
Sandgren defeated Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 6-3 to improve to 8-15 on the season.
“It was anything but smooth sailing in the last 15 minutes,” Sandgren told Tennis Channel. “I … closed my eyes on a few volleys. The ones I had my eyes open on weren’t good. The ones I had my eyes closed on were good. I don’t know what that means exactly.”
Sandgren will next face Brit Cameron Norrie.
German Daniel Altmaier upended Querrey 6-2, 6-4 in 1 hour, 2 minutes. Querrey was beaten at his own game by Altmaier, who recorded seven aces. Querrey, celebrating his birthday Thursday, fired just two. Querrey, who has the fifth most aces of all time on the ATP Tour, also finished with eight double faults Thursday.
Altmaier next faces No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
American Marcos Giron rallied to defeat qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands 6-7 (7), 6-2, 6-4 in 2 hours, 34 minutes.
Another U.S. player, Frances Tiafoe, posted a 6-4, 6-4 victory over France’s Benoit Paire.
Other winners included Japan’s Taro Daniel, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber, and Carlos Taberner of Spain, who defeated countryman Jaume Munar 6-3, 6-3.
Also advancing were Argentina’s Guido Pella, Australia’s Alexei Popyrin, Japan’s Kei Nishikori, Italy’s Salvatore Caruso, Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as well as Americans Mackenzie McDonald, Maxime Cressy and Tommy Paul.
The tournament’s 32 seeded players all received first-round byes. Leading that group are No. 1 Daniil Medvedev of Russia, the new U.S. Open men’s champion, plus No. 2 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, No. 3 Alexander Zverev of Germany and No. 4 Andrey Rublev of Russia.
–Field Level Media