In an All-American matchup on the men’s side here in Indian Wells, Ernesto Escobedo took care of compatriot Michael Redlicki in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Escobedo put together a dominant opening set, working off the strength of his 1stserve (34/44) to win 77% of his service points. He was able to break Redlicki several times and control the pace, as he took a 6-3 advantage into the second frame.
Redlicki, who is an Oracle Challenger Series veteran having competed in the Houston and Newport Beach events this year, would not go away easily. He put up a much better fight in the second set, and looked primed to even the match after taking a commanding 4-1 lead. Unfortunately for him, Escobedo regained his form from earlier in the match and battled his way back to tie things up at 5 games all. He won (2/3) 67% of the break points and used strong service games to take the second set into a tiebreaker. Escobedo recaptured the momentum and propelled himself to a convincing 7-3 finish that closed out the match.
Escobedo is no stranger to the Oracle Challenger Series himself, having participated in all four events in this Series. Coming into the Indian Wells event with 15 points on the Road to Indian Wells leaderboard, Escobedo will need to put together his strongest Challenger performance yet if he hopes to secure one of the main draw wild cards into the 2019 BNP Paribas Open.
Up next for Escobedo is No. 8 seed Yannick Maden of Germany.