Denis Shapovalov, the youngest player in the Top 100, required 72-minutes to notched up his eighth win of the season following a commanding 6-3 6-4 win over the Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis.
This was their first meeting on the Tour and Denis earned his victory with a solid performance on his serve, despite delivering seven double faults.
He dropped just 14 points in 10 service games and Berankis was only able to raise one break point that he converted in the second set. On the other hand, Shapovalov won 40% of the return points and claimed three breaks of serve from six opportunities to safely reach the second round.
From 3-4 down in set number two, the young Canadian won 12 of the next 13 points to seal the deal and shine on his Indian Wells debut. The first set was decided by a single break in game six when Shapovalov capitalized on his third break point to move 4-2 in front.
The youngster served well and closed the set 6-3 with a backhand cross court winner after 34 minutes. Things went from bad to worse for Berankis who got broken again in the third game of the second set after a poor backhand that landed wide.
Shapovalov was very much in command despite losing his serve once in the second set on a double fault.
Earlier in the opening day of the men’s competition, Taylor Fritz ousted Reilly Opelka 4-6 7-6 6-4 after 2 hours and 20 minutes for his third ATP win of the season and the sixth at Masters 1000 level.
Opelka had a match point at 6-5 in the second set tie break but Fritz kept his composure to fend it off and send the match into a decider, scoring a late break there to move into the second round.
Reilly had 19 aces but also 10 double faults (one of those cost him the second set) and he actually won one point more than Fritz, which didn’t help him to achieve a more positive result. He had more break points, nine to six, and broke twice during the entire match as they pushed each other to the limits from start to finish.