Day three at the Monte Carlo Masters finally produced some tennis after Monday’s downpour, including a huge win for Alexei Popyrin.
The rising star proved he can do it all, coming back from a horror 0-6 first set to defeat Spaniard Pablo Andujar 0-6, 6-2, 7-6(3).
Popyrin’s serve was noticeably off throughout the match, converting his first attempts at only 47% for the match. Despite this, he still found a way to push through with a solid return game.
He will now face 2019 Australian Open semi finalist Lucas Pouille in the second round, who is enjoying being back on the tour again after undergoing elbow surgery last year.
In the doubles, Aussie duo Alex De Minaur and John Peers were pipped in a tight opening round clash, losing the match tiebreaker 9-11.
Monte Carlo appears to be a happy hunting ground for some Italian players, as Fognini, Sinner, Sonego, Cecchinato and Caruso all advanced to the round of 32 with comfortable victories.
The same could not be said for eighth seed Matteo Berrettini who fell to Alejando Davidovich Fokina in their second round encounter.
Other notable victors included Roberto Bautista Agut, Grigor Dimitrov and Cristian Garin who all advanced in straight set victories.
Finally, fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas made light work of Aslan Karatsev, advancing to the third round where he will await the winner of Millman and Garin.
Elsewhere, Australian Astra Sharma has advanced to the second round at Charleston in South Carolina with a gutsy win over China’s Yafan Wang.
Sharma saved 18/19 breakpoints on her way to a straight sets victory 6-4, 6-2. She will face American Madison Brengle in the second round.
The news wasn’t as good for fellow Aussie Storm Sanders, who went down in three sets 5-7, 6-4, 6-0.
Over on the Challenger Tour, there were mixed results for the Australian’s involved.
In Split, Croatia, Aleksandar Vukic joined Thanasi Kokkinakis in the round of 16 with a 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory over Duje Kekez. Unfortunately, Marc Polmans will not join the pair after going down in straight sets.
At the Challenger event in Orlando, Matt Ebden lost his first round encounter in straight sets, however, he will be competing in the doubles on Thursday morning AEST.
In Tunisia on the ITF Tour, Aussie Ally Osborne and her Kiwi doubles partner have advanced to the second round after kicking off their campaign with a 6-4, 6-1 victory.
Listen to The First Serve, Mondays 8pm AEDT 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1170AM SEN Sydney & 1629AM SEN SA or listen live and catch up on the SEN App. Brought to you by 1st Serve Tennis Sunscreen, available atwww.sunblessedsunscreens.com.au Order now using the discount code SEN.