No shortage of Aussies graced tennis courts overnight and this morning AEST, sliding away on the clay to try and advance their campaigns at the respective ATP/WTA/Challenger and ITF events they were competing in. Also a young Italian in Lorenzo Musetti continued to shine, and Spanish young gun Carlos Alcaraz on home soil in Spain notched up another win.
Let’s start with the Aussies.
Great to see John Millman back on tour after missing Miami. He had to work extremely hard in windy conditions at the ATP 250 in Cagliari to see off Argentine Federico Coria 7-6 3-6 6-3 to notch up his second win of the year, after his only previous win had come at the ATP Cup back in February.
Next he will face Serbia’s Laslo Djere, the pair’s only previous meeting came at Wimbledon in 2019, with Millman winning comfortably in straight sets.
I mentioned the young Italian Musetti, who is having a great year advancing in the rankings at 19 to be inside the top 100. He took just 53 minutes to defeat Austrian Denis Novak 6-0, 6-1 to set up a second round matchup with top seed Dan Evans.
Doubles pair John-Patrick Smith and Luke Saville were flying the Aussie flag at the ATP 250 in Marbella, Spain and were pipped unfortunately in the deciding tie breaker 12-10 in a tight match, having fought back from losing the first set 6-1.
In singles action, 17 year old Carlos Alcaraz already at 131 in the rankings won through to a second round match up with fellow countryman Feliciano Lopez, 22 years his senior.
A large Aussie contingent in Split, Croatia this week for the ATP Challenger with mixed results overnight.
Great to see Thanasi Kokkinakis get another win under his belt coming from a set down to oust Slovakian Filip Horansky 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round.
Marc Polmans fell to a 0-8 record this year, losing the tightest of matches against Dutch veteran Robin Hasse 6-3, 4-6, 7-6. No shortage of competitiveness from Marc who needs to find a way to get over the line more often than not in these types of matches.
Alex Bolt played his first match since the Australian summer but succumbed in straight sets to Belarusian Qualifier Uladzimir Ignatik 6-4, 6-2.
Akira Santillan had done a good job to qualify but was out of sorts and pretty frustrated throughout his match against Czech Zdenek Kolar before retiring with illness 6-2, 5-0 down.
Speaking of retirements, big Tasmanian Harry Bourchier did the same 6-0, 3-0 down against Russian Pavel Kotov in Oeiras, Portugal.
To the Women’s side, Storm Sanders who is making good progress in 2021 and was always going to be in for a tough match against the two time Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova at the WTA 500 in Charleston. She narrowly lost a first set tie breaker with such small margins separating the pair, but then the more established Czech was able to power away in the second set to win 7-6, 6-2. The in form Garbine Muguruza and Kazakh Yulia Putinseva also won through to the third round.
Astra Sharma in Bogota this week, went down to Italian qualifier Giulia Gatto-Monticone 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the first round, but extended her Colombian stay with a doubles win, as did Arina Rodionova after losing in qualies singles.
Sydneysider Seone Mendez is on a mission to reach the top 200 this year, after qualifying for the W60 Bellinzova in Switzerland, she won her first round match. Meanwhile, 18 year old Olivia Gadecki in Egypt for the third week running won through to the Doubles quarterfinals at the W15 Sharm El Sheikh, with her singles campaign to start tonight.
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