Indian Wells, CA – Second seed Roger Federer and No. 5 seed Rafael Nadal were second-round winners Saturday at the first Masters 1000 event of the year -- the $4.33 million BNP Paribas Open.
Federer, a four-time champion at this tournament (2004-06, 2012) and playing here for the 13th straight year, blew past Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, 6-2, 6-3. The super Swiss has now won 19 straight second-round matches at Masters 1000 events, and hasn't lost such an encounter since 2010 in Rome to Ernests Gulbis.
Nadal, who was playing under the lights, had a tough match against American Ryan Harrison, but prevailed in 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 fashion. This was Nadal's first hardcourt match in 344 days. He withdrew prior to his semifinal match on March 30, 2012 with Andy Murray at the Masters 1000 tourney in Miami due to tendinitis in his left knee.
Harrison fell to 0-17 all-time against top-10 opponents.
While Nadal advanced, fellow Spaniard David Ferrer wasn't as fortunate, as the fourth seed lost to hard-serving Kevin Anderson of South Africa, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Sixth seed Tomas Berdych defeated Mischa Zverev, 6-2, 6-4, but ninth seed Janko Tipsarevic was ousted by Gulbis, 6-2, 6-0. Also Saturday, 10th seed Richard Gasquet topped Bernard Tomic, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, and No. 13 seed Gilles Simon upended Paolo Lorenzi, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
Australian Lleyton Hewitt beat last year's finalist, 15th seed John Isner, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-4. Hewitt is a two-time champion of this tournament (2002-03) and was the runner-up in 2005.
Other winners Saturday were No. 18 seed Stanislas Wawrinka, 20th seed Andreas Seppi, 24th seed Jerzy Janowicz and No. 27 seed Florian Mayer.
Four other seeded players were ousted. Benoit Paire defeated No. 21 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, Ivan Dodig took out 28th seed Julien Benneteau, Jarkko Nieminen upended No. 29 seed Fernando Verdasco, and Leonardo Mayer downed 30th seed Mikhail Youzhny.
The top seeds at this lucrative 11-day event is world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. His second-round match will be Sunday against Italian Fabio Fognini. Third seed Andy Murray is also in action.
Federer, Djokovic and Nadal have combined to win eight of the last nine titles here.
The 2013 Indian Wells champion will collect $1 million.