Kim conquered in the desert
Ernests has defeated American qualifier, Kevin Kim, 6:3 6:4 to reach the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The match took a little over an hour to complete and saw Ernests squandering five match points before finally converting the sixth on his own serve.
Ernests served to open the match and dominated the first set, winning 82% of his first serve points while forbidding his opponent even a glimpse of a break point.
Kim won his first service game to love but was unable to maintain his performance as he offered Ernests no less than eleven break points throughout the course of the match.
After letting go of the first four opportunities, Ernests finally broke serve to lead by 5*:3 and served out the first set without issue.
He looked in blistering form in the second set as he raced to a 3*:0 lead after breaking Kim twice in quick succession.
However, an Ernests match would not be complete without dramatic swings in momentum, as he demonstrated by losing serve just when he seemed poised for a 4:0 lead.
He threatened to regain the 2-break margin in the next game by holding Kim hostage at 30*-40 on the American’s serve, but it was not to be.
Ernests also enjoyed three match points on Kim’s serve at 5:3*, but his gutsy opponent managed to stave them all off, forcing Ernests to serve out the match on his own terms, which saw him throwing in a double fault and a second serve ace for good measure.
Ernests’s next opponent is the heavy-hitting Igor Andreev of Russia, the victor in their prolonged five-set match at this year’s Australian Open.
Andreev received a bye in the first round, by virtue of being one of the tournament seeds, and will play in his first professional match since losing to David Ferrer in the quarterfinals of Dubai two weeks ago.
INDIAN WELLS R1: E. Gulbis (LAT) def. (Q) K. Kim 6:3 6:4