The second day of the main draw action in Marrakech brought only 4 matches, but they all had some interesting story behind it. 19-year-old Amine Ahouda, ranked 946th, played here in Marrakech this weekend as well in the Davis Cup, and he obviously prepared himself well for the ATP tournament, beating Marcel Granollers 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 37 minutes. Ahouda, who won only one Challenger match so far in a career (and less than 30 on the Futures Tour) defeated the player ranked 900 positions better than him by keeping his second serve safe and repelling 4 out of 6 break points.
On the other hand, he managed to exploit Granollers' weaker second serve and break the Spaniard 4 times from 9 chances for his biggest win in a career so far. A few years ago, Gianluigi Quinzi was among the most promising players in the world but instead of being among the leaders of the next generation, Quinzi lost his course due to injuries, never fulfilling his potential.
He made a nice step forward here in Marrakech, qualifying for his maiden ATP tournament and winning his first ATP match in a 7-6 6-3 triumph over experienced Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu. Italian struggled with his first serve percentage but he hit 14 aces and saved 14 out of 16 break points to cut the damage in his service games, and he converted 3 break points to seal the win in straight sets.
The players exchanged 4 back-to-back breaks in the middle of the first set before the tie break, and Quinzi fends off 6 set points (4 in game 12) to claim the opener by 10-8 in the tie break. In set number 2 Gianluigi had troubles in his first and last service games, saving 7 break points in total, and he broke Mathieu in game 2 to keep that lead until the end.
First round results: