Success for Liam Broady at the Sardegna Open in Cagliari, Italy where, having negotiated a place in the main draw trough the qualifying event, secured his first ATP Tour level win since 2018.
Currently plying his trade at Challenger level, the 27-year-old from Stockport, defeated fellow qualifier from Switzerland, Marc-Andrea Huesler 6-1 6-3 in 79-minutes.
Ranked 152, the left-hander broke his opponent twice in the first set and the three time in the second as he set up a second-round match against Jan-Lennard Struff, the fifth seed from Germany who got the better of Portugal’s Joao Sousa in his opener.
The German, a veteran on the ATP Tour who will be celebrating his 31st birthday later this month, saved five match points as he fought his way to a 1-6 6-1 7-5 victory from 5-2 down in the decider.
In other first round action sixth-seeded Australian John Millman needed three hours and 15-minutes to overcome Argentina’s Federico Coria, 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3.
Other winners included 19-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who crushed Austria’s Dennis Novak 6-0 6-1 in 53-minutes to progress into round two and a meeting with the top seed, Britain’s No.1, Dan Evans.
Also through are Slovakia’s Jozef Kovalik and Andrej Martin, plus Italy’s Marco Cecchinato and France’s Gilles Simon.
At the Andalucia Open in Marbella, Spain fifth-seeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain rallied for a 6-7(1) 6-2 6-2 first-round win over Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Fellow Spaniard and No. 6 seed Feliciano Lopez had an easier time, firing 12 aces and saving four break points in his 6-4 6-4 defeat of Japan’s Taro Daniel. Lopez next faces 17-year-old countryman Carlos Alcaraz, who defeated Serbia’s Nikola Milojevic 7-6(3) 6-3.
Other first-round winners included Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis, Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, Gianluca Mager of Italy plus Spaniards Jaume Munar and Mario Vilella Martinez.