Promising Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis has fallen in his first singles match of the 2017 tennis season. Veteran Denis Istomin handed a straight-set loss to the 21-year-old in the first-round of the Open Auvergne-Rhone-Alps Park in Lyon.
The unseeded Uzbekistani broke the Australian early on in both sets to clinch a 6-3 6-4 win. Istomin hit 10 aces and won 34-of-39 of his first serve points in an hour and nine minutes of action. It was Kokkinakis' first singles match since last year's Rio Olympic Games.
His last singles win came in the qualifying of Valencia in October 2015. Next up for Istomin is set to be Milos Raonic, the top seed of the tournament. Local player Gilles Simon, who took a wildcard entry for the Lyon event, has prolonged his campaign at the French tournament after a two-hour and 16-minute battle on Monday.
Fifth seed Simon out-gunned talented Daniil Medvedev in a three-setter 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-2. The French converted 4-of-9 of his break point chances and saved 7-of-8 of Medvedev's break point tries. Simon will be meeting next the winner of the match between qualifier Kyle Edmund and Brazil's Thiago Monteiro.
Qualifier Hyeon Chung has earned his third win in as many days in Lyon. The talented South-Korean made it past American Donald Young without many problems 6-2 6-3. Chung, 21, was dominant on the points played behind his first serve, winning 30-of-31 of the same.
He converted four of his six break point chances in an hour of play. Chung will have a tough job in the second-round as the big-serving Tomas Berdych will be his next opponent. Argentinean qualifier Nicolas Kicker surprised attractive German Dustin Brown 6-4 6-4 to set up a second-round clash with rising Nick Kyrgios.
Italy's Andreas Seppi also booked a place in the following round of Lyon after a win collected over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (5) 6-4. Gastao Elias, the Portuguese qualifier, was also successful on Monday. The world 125 created a comeback to outclass 27-year-old Radu Albot 2-6 6-4 6-2.