Fifth seed Alexander Bublik was a first-round casualty at the ASB Classic in Auckland on Monday and was then joined by three other seeds who crashed out on Tuesday leaving just three seeds who had opening round byes, to open their challenges in the second round of the ATP 250 event.
Out are Bublik beaten comfortably by David Goffin 6-3 6-4, the two-time champion and 6th seed John Isner, surprisingly outlasted 6-7(3) 7-6(5) 6-3 by qualifier Gregoire Barrere, Sebastian Baez, seeded 7 defeated by wild card Ben Shelton 7-6(1) 6-1 and 8th seed Adrian Mannarino beaten by J Wolf 6-4 7-6(4).
The big-serving Kazakh Bublik was expected to go deep in a tournament that has attracted a relatively lightweight field to New Zealand but was contained by the Belgian who adeptly handled a barrage of thunderbolt serves, breaking him on six occasions.
“His first serve is just amazing — like 220 (kph) all the time and close to the line, so it’s not easy to return,” Goffin admitted.
“He started to hit the ball really well in the second set and he’s very dangerous when he’s relaxed.”
In other results the veteran Richard Gasquet won his Auckland opener 6-3 6-1 against a Kiwi wild card Kiranpal Pannu 6-3 6-1 along with French compatriot Constant Lestienne who swept past Pedro Cachin by the same scoreline.
American Jenson Brooksby needed three sets to beat the flamboyant Italian veteran Fabio Fognini 6-7(2) 6-1 6-3.
Top seed Casper Ruud of Norway, Britain’s Cameron Norrie seeded 2 and third seed Diego Schwartzman are all scheduled to play on Wednesday.