The 21-year-old did carve two break points out for himself as Struff served for the set soon after, but he was tentative in his approach to both points and the senior player on Stadium 1, to much duress, closed out the opener in 44 minutes. "Just one team and just full for the team, everything", Struff said. Now, it's all of a matter of seeing how far he can go at Indian Wells.
Already the oldest man in the draw, he became the oldest match victor at a Masters event when he won his first-round contest against Matthew Ebden. Struff now has three career wins over top-10 players, and you could argue that was his biggest yet given where it puts him in a big tournament.
"I felt somehow unusual and the match was odd", said Pliskova. Then came Pune, and a three tie-break loss to Kevin Anderson in the final, followed by a second-round loss to No9 seed Kei Nishikori in Australia after nearly four hours and five sets. "Here I have always struggled". I think I have a very good backhand, I'm very happy with it.
It was a routine match for seventh seed Thiem, who defeated Gilles Simon 6-3 6-1.
"I feel definitely more comfortable going into that match than, for example, today", Williams told reporters. Raonic hopes to make the quarterfinal of Indian Wells for his fifth straight appearance.
Canadian 13th seed Raonic awaits Struff after his come-from-behind 4-6 6-4 6-4 victory against Marcos Giron.
Monfils won his eighth career title at Rotterdam in February, followed up that performance with a run to the semi-finals in Dubai.
No13 seed Milos Raonic has reached the quarter-finals or better in Indian Wells in his past four visits, making the final in 2016. And the American very almost caused another upset.
Raonic faced 1-4 in the deciding set before a run of five straight games sealed the win, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, after nearly two hours.
Struff won 89 per cent of points on his first serve and saved all four break points he faced against his Davis Cup team-mate, who was unable to hold on four occasions.
Jan-Lennard Struff, ranked 55th in the world, notched his first victory over Zverev in five tries, breaking him once in the first set and three times in the second for a 6-3, 6-1 victory.