Nadal begins title defence against Stepanek

Nadal begins title defence against Stepanek

Top seed Rafael Nadal will open his Indian Wells title defence against Radek Stepanek after the Czech overcame a poor second set to beat Denis Istomin 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 in the first round on Thursday.

Stepanek, ranked 50th in the world, was broken only once and did not double fault but needed nearly two hours to defeat the Uzbek.

Also on Thursday, Lleyton Hewitt notched his 599th career win when he beat fellow Australian Matthew Ebden 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-3.

Hewitt will try for his 600th career victory against South African Kevin Anderson.
Results: Men’s singles: First round: Ivo Karlovic (Cro) bt Alex Bogomolov Jr (Rus) 6-4, 6-4; Ryan Harrison (US) bt Andrey Golubev (Kaz) 6-4, 7-5; Paul-Henri Mathieu (Fra) bt Robby Ginepri (US) 6-2, 6-3; Jeremy Chardy (Fra) bt Rhyne Williams (US) 7-6 (7-5), 7-5; Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) bt Matthew Ebden (Aus) 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-3; Juan Monaco (Arg) bt Peter Polansky (Can) 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4; Santiago Giraldo (Col) bt Daniel Gimeno-Traver (Esp) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Lukas Rosol (Cze) bt Dusan Lajovic (Srb) 6-7 (2-7), 7-5, 6-4; Jiri Vesely (Cze) bt Igor Sijsling (Ned) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1); Radek Ste­p­a­nek (Cze) bt Denis Istomin (Uzb) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1; Michael Russell (US) bt Donald Young (US) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2; Tim Smyczek (US) beat Jack Sock (US) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4; Sergiy Stakh­ovsky (Ukr) bt Lukasz Kubot (Pol) 6-4, 7-5; Edouard Roger-Vasselin (Fra) bt Benjamin Becker (Ger) 6-4, 6-2; Alejandro Falla (Col) bt Federico Delbonis (Arg) 6-3, 6-4.

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