Karlovic claims historic win at Indian Wells, Gunneswaran enjoys Masters debut

Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic

It was a day to remember for Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic, who booked his spot in the second round of the Indian Wells Masters.

Ivo Karlovic became the first player aged 40 and over to win an ATP Tour match since 1995 following his opening-round victory at the Indian Wells Masters.

Croatian veteran Karlovic – who celebrated his 40th birthday on February 28 – edged Matthew Ebden in straight sets on Thursday.

Karlovic became the first 40-year-old since Jimmy Connors in Halle 24 years ago to win on the Tour.

Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran, meanwhile, enjoyed a memorable ATP Masters 1000 debut against Benoit Paire.

Karlovic defying Father Time

Making his 14th Indian Wells appearance, Karlovic outlasted Ebden 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3).

Karlovic – who became the oldest ATP Tour finalist since 1977 in Pune this year – fired down 18 aces in a match lasting one hour, 49 minutes.

A 2011 Indian Wells quarter-finalist, Karlovic will meet countryman Borna Coric in the second round.

Gunneswaran stuns Paire

The 29-year-old upstaged former world number 18 Paire 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 for just his second main-draw victory.

Making his first appearance in a Masters main-draw match, Gunneswaran was too good for the Frenchman as he booked a second-round clash with Nikoloz Basilashvili.

He saved five of eight break points against Paire, who had a first-serve percentage of just 38.

Giron shocks Chardy

Another qualifier Marcos Giron produced one of the biggest upsets of the day.

Giron stunned Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-1) in his Masters debut on Thursday.

Jordan Thompson will meet Dominic Thiem in the second round after surviving a three-hour marathon against Federico Delbonis 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) for his maiden Masters triumph, while Leonardo Mayer beat Reilly Opelka in straight sets.

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