Thirty year-old Australian player Matthew Ebden edged past Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-4) after two hours and 45 minutes to book his spot in the third round, where he will face Peter Gojowczyk from Germany, who battled past Marton Fucsovics 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5).
Thiem got an early break in the opening game, but Ebden broke straight back in the next game. Ebden earned two set points on return in the 10th game and converted his second break chance at deuce to seal the first set 6-4. Thiem broke serve at 15 in the third game of the second set. Ebden broke back at 30 to draw level to 3-3 setting up a tie-break. Ebden saved three set points, before Thiem converted his fourth chance with his forehand.
The third set went on serve in the first ten games, before Ebden got the decisive break in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead after consecutive backhand errors from Thiem. He served for the match, but he failed to convert a match point. Thiem broke serve on his second chance after three deuces to force the match to the third set. Ebden took the 7-4 edge to win the decisive tie-break to claim his third win over top-10 players.
Nicolas Jarry saved two match points to upset this year’s Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic 2-6 7-6 7-5. Cilic converted his third break point in the second game of the first set to open up a 3-0 lead. The Croatian player saved a break point to hold his serve in the seventh game for 5-2 before closing out the first set with a break at 15.
Cilic earned two match points in the second set at 5-4 40-30 on Jarry’s serve and while he was serving at 6-5 in the tie-break of the second set. Jarry saved them and sealed the tie-break 8-6, when Cilic sent a backhand wide.
Cilic converted his second break point chance in the second game and served for the match at 5-4, but the Chilean player bounced back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks in the 10th and in the 12th games to secure the biggest match of his career.
Jarry will take on British number 1 Kyle Edmund, who recovered from one break down in the first set to beat Filip Krajinovic 7-5 6-3 securing his spot in the third round for the third consecutive year.
Edmund dropped his serve in the third game of the first set. The British player fended off three break points in the 7th game before breaking back to draw level to 4-4. Edmund sealed the first set 7-5 with a second break at 30 in the 12th game.
Edmund saved a break point to hold his serve after two deuces to take a 2-1 lead in the second set. The Brit earned the decisive break in the eighth game with a backhand winner down the line and sealed the win with a service hold at 15 in the ninth game.
Last week’s Tokyo champion Danil Medvedev came back from one set down to edge Ze Zhang 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 to advance to the second round.
Zhang got the first break of the match in the second game at 15 and held his service game at the second deuce after saving a break break point to open up a 3-0 lead. The Chinese player held on his serve in the seventh and ninth games at deuce to claim the first set 6-3.
Both players went on serve with no breaks of serve setting up a tie-break. Medvedev took the 9-7 edge in a hard-fought tie-break forcing the match to the third set.
After four games on serve with no breaks of serve Zhang saved a break point to hold his serve at deuce to take a 3-2 lead. Medvedev fended off a break point at the second deuce to hold on his serve in the eighth game before geting the decisive break at 15 to take a 5-4 lead. The 22-year-old Russian player served out the match at 30 in the 10th game.
Borna Coric beat US Bradley Klahn 6-4 6-2. The Croatian player earned his only break of the first set on his fourth opportunity in the opening game to take a 6-4 win. Coric got two consecutive breaks in the third and fifth games to take the second set 6-2.
Richard Gasquet converted four of his five break points to rally from one set down in his 1-6 6-2 6-1 win over Leonardo Mayer.
Kei Nishikori recovers from a slow start to beat Taylor Fritz in Barcelona
Kei Nishikori beat Taylor Fritz 7-5 6-2 after 1 hour and 41 minutes to advance to the second round at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
Kei Nishikori raliied from 1-4 down in the first set to reel off 12 of the next 15 games.
Fritz converted his second break point in the fourth game and held his service game to open up a 4-1 lead. Nishikori broke twice in the seventh and eleventh games to take a 6-5 lead. The Japanese player served out the first set 7-5 at deuce after saving a break point.
Nishikori went up a double break in the third and fifth games to seal the second set 6-2.
Nishikori and Fritz met once before in the 2016 Memphis final, when the Japanese player beat his younger US rival to clinch his fourth consecutive Memphis title.
Nishikori bounced back from his opening round defeat against Pierre Hugues Herbert last week in Monte-Carlo.
Nishikori claimed two consecutive titles in Barcelona in 2014 and 2015 and finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal, who won the Barcelona title 11 times.
The Japanese player will face Canadian 18-year-old Next Gen star Felix Auger Aliassime or Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri.
Jaziri came back from one set to beat Guido Andreozzi 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 after 2 hours and 42 minutes.
Spanish veteran David Ferrer dropped just 11 points in his service points to ease past Germany’s Misha Zverev 6-3 6-1 after 65 minutes. Ferrer will face Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the second round.
Teenager Nicola Kuhn from Spain edged past Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 30 minutes scoring the biggest win of his career.
Matteo Berrettini beats Mikhail Kukushkin in Budapest
Italy’s Matteo Berrettini claimed his first win on clay this season with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin in the opening round of the Hungarian Open.
The first set started with four breaks of serve in the first five games, as Berrettini built up a 4-1 lead. Kukushkin pulled back one of the three breaks in the sixth game for 2-4. Berrettini held his final two games at love to claim the first set 6-4.
Berrettini went up a double break in the first and fifth games to open up a 5-1 lead. The Italian player wasted his first match point. Kukushkin got one break back and saved another match point to hold his service game to win his third consecutive game for 4-5, but Berrettini served out the win at love in the 10th game.
Berrettini set up a second round against Aljaz Bedene, who came back from a double break down in the opening set to beat Bernard Tomic 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.
Radu Albot from Moldova broke serve twice in each set to seal a 7-5 6-4 win over Sergiy Stakhovsky on his fourth match point after 1 hour and 41 minutes setting up a second round against Filip Krajnovic, who edged Andreas Seppi 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 after wasting four match points in the second set.
Marco Cecchinato has pulled out of the Hungarian Open and will not defend the title he won last year.
Fernando Verdasco wins all-Spanish clash against Feliciano Lopez in Barcelona first round
Fernando Verdasco beat Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-3 in 81 minutes at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
Former Barcelona champion Verdasco, who won this tournament in 2010, improved his win-loss record against his compatriot to 6-5 in their 11 head-to-head matches.
Verdasco claimed his only break point at love to close out the first set 6-4. Lopez got his first break at deuce in the opening game of the second set. Verdasco won four consecutive breaks from 2-3 down with two breaks to wrap up the second set 6-3. Verdasco will face Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.
Taylor Fritz won an all-American first round clash against giant Reilly Opelka 6-3 6-4 after just 55 minutes In the match between two US rising stars Fritz never faced a break point and converted one break point in each set from the four chances he created to cruise into the second round.
Fritz earned the only break in the fifth game of the first set at 15 to take a 3-2 lead after Opelka made a volley error in the fifth game. Fritz hit three service winners in the ninth game to seal the opening set 6-3.
Fritz went up a set and a break in the third game of the second set with a forehand winner. He hit a forehand winner to close out the match, as he was serving for the match at 5-4.
Diego Schwartzman came back from one set down to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6 6-4 6-2.
Nishioka converted his fourth break point in the first game, but Schwartzman broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. After a trade of breaks in the sixth and seventh games Nishioka saved saved three break points to hold his serve in the eighth game. The Japanese player converted his fifth break point after a double fault from Schwartzman in the ninth game. Nishioka served out the first set at love.
Both players traded breaks twice in the second set en route to drawing level to 4-4. Schwartzman broke serve in the 10th game to close out the second set 6-4. Schwartman reeled off four consecutive games from 2-2 with two breaks of serve to win the third set.
Schwartman was playing his third match in Barcelona because he had to play the qualifying round. He forgot to sign before the tournament deadline.
Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer battled past Marius Copil 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 after two hours and 36 minutes to score his ninth match win of the season.
Mayer earned his first break to race out to a 3-0 lead and saved four break points at 3-1. He held his final two service games to close out the second set 6-3. Both players saved a total of four break points in the second set to hold their service games en route to the tie-break. Copil earned three mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-3 forcing the match to the third set. Mayer got the only break at love in the 12th game to seal the third set 7-5.
German Jan-Lennard Struff cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-3 6-1 after just 51 minutes. Struff saved all three break points and dropped 14 points in 8 service games. He broke once in the fourth game of the first set and three times in a row to seal the win.
Jaume Munar came back from one set down to beat Portuguese qualifier Pedro Souza 2-6 6-4 6-0 setting up a second round match against US Frances Tiafoe. Sousa got four of the six breaks to win the first set 6-4. The second set went on serve until the 10th game, when Munar got his first break on his third chance to close out the second set 6-4. The Spaniard broke three times to take a bagel win in the third set.
Mackenzie McDonald saw off Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-2 6-2 in just 57 minutes. Mackenzie converted four of hi sten break points and dropped nine points in eight service games. He won the final four games of the first set from 2-2 with two breaks to close out the first set 6-2. He got two more breaks in the third and eighth games to wrap up the match with with a forehand crosscourt winner.
Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics cruised past Denis Kudla 6-4 6-1. The Hungarian player saved two break points he faced and converted four of his nine break points.
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