British wild card Jack Draper booked a spot in the second round of the Rothesay International event at Devonshire Park, by comfortably overcoming Jenson Brooksby of the US 6-2 6-2 on his debut at the event, with another excellent performance.
There’s a good atmosphere around the place and playing in front of a home crowd always helps. I hope to play at this level more off my own merit Jack Draper
The 20-year-old from Surrey who has won four Challenger Tour titles this season, earned the biggest win of his career against World No. 14 Taylor Fritz at The Queen’s Club last week and will test himself next against fourth seeded Diego Schwartzman from Argentina, a former world No.8 currently ranked 16.
Draper raced into the lead as he took the opening set, without dropping a point on his first serve, inside 32-minutes and maintained his high level of play throughout the second to complete his victory in 64-minutes.
“I played really well today,” a satisfied Draper commented after the match.
“I’m very happy with my performance today. I felt like I learnt a few lessons from Queens and coming here I’ve felt really confident.
“There’s a good atmosphere around the place and playing in front of a home crowd always helps. I hope to play at this level more off my own merit.”
Meanwhile Australia’s Alex de Minaur began his title defence in fine fashion as he defeated Chile’s Cristian Garin in straight sets 6-3 6-3 on Centre Court.
The Aussie dropped just one set en route to the title last season and once again looked at home on the grass at the English south coast resort.
The sixth seed broke Garin four times to advance after 83-minutes, improving his record over the Chilean to 3-0.
The 23-year-old, who holds a 14-11 record on grass, could next play Lorenzo Sonego in a rematch of last year’s final but the Italian first has to get past another Aussie, qualifier James Duckworth, on Tuesday.
“I’m extremely happy. It’s great to be back in sunny Eastbourne, it is a pleasure to play here. It’s one of the seasons that I enjoy the most. I played a very good match today which I’m proud of, so hopefully I can keep it going,” De Minaur said.
In other action Australian qualifier John Millman, 33, advanced, upsetting American Sebastian Korda 6-3 7-6(5) to avenge his first round loss at Roland Garros a few weeks ago after one hour and 40-minutes.
“It is really nice to be here. It is good to get some form going,” Millman said. “I am happy to get some good wins in qualifying and then to beat a player like Sebastian is a nice feeling.”
Millman will next play the Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik after the 25-year-old rallied past American Frances Tiafoe 5-7 7-6(4) 6-0 in one hour and 52-minutes to improve his grass court record to 14-10.
In an All-American battle, Maxime Cressy upset the fifth seeded Reilly Opelka 6-3 6-1 securing his win in just 60-minutes to reach round two on his debut at Eastbourne.
Cressy, who reached the quarter-finals on grass in Newport last season, will face Britain’s No.2 Daniel Evans or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the second round.
American qualifier Brandon Nakashima also moved through on his debut at the ATP 250 grass-court event, cruising past British wild card Jay Clarke 6-1 6-3 but will not find his next opponent, British No.1 and the top seed, Cameron Norrie, as obliging when they meet next.