Daniil Medvedev made a smooth return to ATP action on Saturday, defeating American Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the third round at Indian Wells. The second-ranked Russian, who is the top men’s seed in the combined WTA and ATP Masters hard court tournament, played his first ATP match since winning his first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows, where he denied Novak Djokovic a rare calendar Grand Slam sweep. Since then, Medvedev has helped Team Europe defeat Team World in the Laver Cup, and he has kept the momentum going with a convincing victory over 57th-ranked McDonald.
Medvedev didn’t face a break point and converted three of his seven break chances against the American, completing the match in 72 minutes. “I’m actually really pleased, because usually I haven’t played well in Indian Wells and I haven’t been playing that well in practices before (the tournament),” said Medvedev, who was 3-3 in prior appearances in the California desert.
“Mackenzie is a really strong opponent, he can put pressure on everybody. I’m happy to be through quite fast,” he added.
Medvedev will face Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the third round after a 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 victory over American Marcos Giron. Andrey Rublev of Russia advanced as well, defeating Carlos Taberner of Spain 6-3, 6-4.
Women’s top seed Karolina Pliskova breezed into the third round, while Garbine Muguruza was knocked out by Ajla Tomljanovic. Pliskova, the world’s third-ranked player, needed 80 minutes to defeat 23-year-old Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech 7-5, 6-2. Pliskova hit six aces, bringing her season total to 387, and converted five of six break chances against French. The 106th-ranked French took the first break of the match, taking a 4-3 lead in the first set. Pliskova quickly broke back, and with a 6-5 lead, the Czech earned a set point with a backhand winner before French fired into the net. Pliskova took a 5-1 lead in the second set and, after dropping her serve while serving for the match, broke French for the fifth time to win.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Muguruza was defeated 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 by Australia’s Tomljanovic, who reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final earlier this year at Wimbledon. Muguruza appeared to have turned things around when she won the second set to tie the match, helped by an increase in errors from the Australian. However, Tomljanovic rallied, breaking Muguruza in the first game of the third set. Muguruza clawed back the break to tie the set at 3-3, only to drop her serve again, and Tomljanovic sealed the victory with a final service break.
Bianca Andreescu began her defense of the title she won in 2019 — the most recent edition of the tournament — with a hard-fought 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 6-2 victory over American Alison Riske. “It felt great being back here,” Andreescu told the crowd of returning to the site of her breakthrough WTA win, which launched her on a stellar 2019 season that included a US Open victory. “I felt all the emotions of being on this court again,” the Canadian added.