It's always very difficult, if not to say impossible, to know what a match was really like, having followed it on the scoreboard. But in the case of David's first-round victory over Potito Starace, at least one thing is clear - it was a match that consisted of two completely different sets, as the scoreline already suggests: 7-6(4), 6-0. After a dramatic first set that took over an hour and was full of missed chances, David went on to steamroll Starace in the second in what can't have been more than twenty minutes.
This victory grants David a place in the second round where he'll meet 24th seed Marin Cilic on Sunday. A match of special importance for him because of the upcoming Davis Cup quarterfinal against Croatia (April 6-8).
At the start of the second set, David immediately broke Starace again to love but then struggled to consolidate his break and found himself facing another break point. And for a moment it seemed like the second set might become as close as the first. But David saved the break point, consolidated his break with an ace - and from that moment on, Starace only won four more points. Up a triple break and 5-0, David served for the match, began with two aces in a row and then closed out the match on his first match point, 6-0.
What exactly happened on those six set points that David didn't manage to convert in the first set - we'll probably never get to know. But the most important things is that he still found a way of winning that first set, once more displaying what's still a relatively new strength of his - tiebreaks. Apart from that, David posted some very solid numbers on serve, making 61% first serves and winning a healthy 64% of his second serves. Overall, a very good start for David at Indian Wells. Despite the drama...