De Minaur falls at first hurdle in Indian Wells Masters

Six days after the biggest title triumph of his career, Alex de Minaur has been knocked out of the Indian Wells Masters in his first match on a bleak day for Australians.

Handed a first-round bye courtesy of his 16th seeding, de Minaur went down 6-4 6-2 to world No.84 Marton Fucsovics of Hungary in their second-round clash in the Californian desert on Saturday.

World No.18 de Minaur was coming off his three-set victory over Australian Open semi-finalist Tommy Paul in the final in Acapulco, where he won his seventh title, the first at ATP 500 level.

Australian qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis was also eliminated, 6-3 6-3, in hte second round by world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz, who reached the semifinals in the desert last year and could return to the No. 1 spot for the first time since January if he wins the title.

And two more Australians, Rinky Hijikata and Alexei Popyrin, also had their progress halted in the second round.

Qualifier Hijikata was beaten 6-3 6-1 by 30th seed Sebastian Baez while qualifying lucky loser Popyrin fell 6-3 6-3 to ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz.

Taylor Fritz, the defending Indian Wells champion, rallied past fellow American Ben Shelton, 4-6 6-4 6-3 to reach the third round.

Italy's Jannik Sinner defeated Richard Gasquet, 6-3 7-6 (7-2). The 21-year-old Sinner fired 20 forehand winners against the 36-year-old veteran.

Another 21-year-old, Jack Draper, beat fellow Brit Dan Evans, 6-4 6-2. Draper has lost just eight games through his first two matches of his Indian Wells debut.

Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray beat Radu Albot 6-4, 6-3 in his first straight-set victory of the year to set up a third-round match with Draper.

Murray had just 18 unforced errors to 35 for Albot, and never faced a break point on his serve.

"I felt very nervous today. I'm not sure exactly why," Murray said. "Obviously, I've played a lot of tennis coming in, maybe I saw it was an opportunity for me. Maybe wasn't as well-prepared."

No.10 Felix Auger-Aliassime reached the third round with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win over Pedro Martinez.

with The AP