One week ends, another starts on the professional tennis tour, as the men have jetted into Munich, Germany for the BMW Open and to Estoril, Portugal, both ATP 250 tournaments.
The countdown is on to the big WTA 1000 Madrid Open starting for the women on Thursday and the ATP Challenger circuit and the ITF Circuit roll around for another week with plenty of Aussies featuring across all levels.
Day 1 of the BMW Open got underway in Munich overnight with a battle of the Aussies and it was John Millman who was the one who walked away with the chocolates in a marathon three set battle over Alexei Popyrin 7-6, 3-6, 7-5. Both had disappointing losses in Serbia last week and were keen to make amends, so it was unfortunate that one Australian had to lose.
Millman and Popyrin won 17 games apiece, but it was eighth seed Millman who dug deeper to claim victory. Both faced a combined 31 break points, with Millman securing two to advance to the second round.
Millman is now 4-0 in first round matches on clay this year. He will now face Argentine Guido Pella in the Round of 16, whose opponent Egor Gerasimov was forced to retire 6-0, 2-0 down. The pair are 1-1 in their head to head, but it will be their 1st meeting on clay.
The other notable winner on Day 1 in Munich was Belarussian qualifier Ilya Ivashka, who defeated rising Finnish star Emil Ruusuvuori in comprehensive fashion 6-1, 6-2. It comes a week after taking a set of Barcelona champion Rafael Nadal.
A frustrating day it would be fair to say for Aussie Jordan Thompson in Estoril, going down to World Number 331 Nuno Borges 7-6, 6-3, who claimed his first ATP Tour level win, even more special the Portuguese doing it on home soil. Thompson gave away a 4-1 lead in the opening set, with Borges hitting the lights out as his confidence grew throughout the match.
Borges leading in, had improved his ranking from 401 to 331 in the first four months of the year winning on the ITF tour and a Challenger runner up showing.
The ATP 250 win over Thompson took him inside the top 300 in the Live Rankings, showing how valuable wins are at the higher level when your making your way up. Thommo first serve landed just 58% of the time.
Two time Grand Slam Finalist Kevin Anderson got through a mighty battle with American Frances Tiafoe 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 to advance to the Round of 16 and a match up with another Grand Slam Finalist in Kei Nishikori. Frenchman Jeremy Chardy accounted for Spanish qualifier Juame Munar, better fortune for countryman Alejandro Davidovich Fokina who is at a career high 48 in world bringing up his 10th win in 2021.
On the ATP Challenger Tour, Aussie Alex Bolt was wiped off the court 6-0, 6-3 at the Rome Garden Open by Great Britians Jay Clarke, only winning 40% of points on his first serve. Since leaving Australia at the start of April he is 0-4.
On the ITF Tour, 18 year old Olivia Gadecki won through to the final round of qualifying at the W15 Antayla tournament.
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