Top-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria overcame a second-set hiccup on Tuesday to win in the opening round of the clay-court Rio Open, downing Brazilian wild card Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in Rio de Janeiro.
Thiem, ranked fourth in the world, needed 37 minutes to claim the opening set, but Rodrigues Alves, a 21-year-old ranked 341st, converted his only break-point opportunity of the match and hung on to win the second. Thiem took full control in the third, winning 26 of 38 total points and finishing the set in 31 minutes.
Second-seeded Dusan Lajovic of Serbia also needed three sets to move on, outlasting Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1. Fifth-seeded Borna Coric of Croatia also advanced with a 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory over Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero.
Two seeded player fell. No. 8 Casper Ruud of Norway lost 7-6 (4), 7-5 to Italian qualifier Gianluca Mager, and No. 4 Guido Pella of Argentina dropped a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (3) decision to Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro.
Delray Beach Open
Third-seeded American Taylor Fritz tumbled in the opening round in Florida, as British qualifier Cameron Norrie beat him 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4.
Fritz had 13 aces against just two double faults while Norrie had six and eight, respectively, but Fritz was broken three times while managing to break Norrie’s serve only once.
In an up-and-down day for Americans, fourth-seeded Reilly Opelka survived Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (4) while wild card Jack Sock rallied past No. 8 Radu Albot of Moldova 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2). Tommy Paul and qualifier Noah Rubin also advanced, but American lucky loser Stefan Kozlov fell.
The highest seed in action, No. 2 Milos Raonic of Canada, breezed by Uzbekistani lucky loser Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-2.
Open 13 Provence
Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene upset fifth-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the opening round in Marseille, France.
Khachanov, the highest-seeded player without a first-round bye, broke Bedene’s serve in the first game of the match, but it was downhill from there. Bedene forced a whopping 11 break points on Khachanov’s serve. While the Russian fought off nine, Bedene finally converted in the final game of the second and third sets, including his fourth match point to put it away.
The only other seed in action was No. 8 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, who eased by French wild-card entrant Antoine Hoang 6-4, 6-1.
--Field Level Media
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