Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis are one win away from an enticing clash at the Indian Wells Masters after rolling into the third round with impressive wins in the Californian desert.
Cashing in on his wildcard entry, Kokkinakis upset 23rd seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5 5-7 6-3 on Saturday to improve to an impressive 4-1 against top-40 opponents this year.
A day after joining exciting young Croatian Borna Coric as the first 18-year-olds to win a match in Indian Wells since Tomic and American Ryan Harrison in 2011, Kokkinakis backed up to claw his way into the last 16 of a Masters Series event for the first time.
Kokkinakis fired 13 aces and broke the Spaniard’s serve on five of 10 chances.
Australia’s teenage Davis Cup star next plays Juan Monaco after the Argentine surprised US Open champion Marin Cilic, the 10th seed, 6-4 6-4 in his second-round match.
Tomic continued his fine start to 2015 with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Coric, his 18th win of the season setting up a meeting with Spanish eighth seed David Ferrer.
Ferrer scraped past Ivan Dodig 4-6 6-1 7-6 (8-6), while fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco ended James Duckworth’s tournament with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) victory.
Despite the loss, Duckworth’s effort in making round two is set to propel the Australian into the world’s top 100 for the first time.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic kicked-started his bid for a fourth Indian Wells title by beating Marcos Baghdatis 6-1 6-3.
Gunning for the 50th singles title of his career, which would make him the 12th player in the open era to achieve such a milestone, Djokovic next plays Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain.
Andy Murray also moved into the third round on Saturday with a 6-1 6-3 defeat of Vasek Pospisil.
The hard-serving Canadian made it easier for the Scot as a result of his 35 unforced errors.
Murray broke Pospisil three times in the first set, winning the final six games.
They traded breaks to open the second before Murray broke Pospisil at love in the eighth game and then served his own love game to close out the match.
In other action, Kei Nishikori beat American Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-4 on a 91-degree day in the desert.
Nishikori dispatched Harrison in just over an hour despite struggling with his first serve.
The fifth-ranked Japanese player reached the third round at Indian Wells for the first time in eight tries.
Nishikori arrived in the desert on a roll, having reached the quarter-finals or better at each of his four previous tournaments this year.
Harrison fell to 1-24 against top-10 players in his career.