Playing in his first match since Miami, Juan Martin del Potro defeated Yuichi Sugita 6-1 6-3 in an hour and 20 minutes, playing some solid tennis considering he was out from the court from more than a month. Delpo served well, blasting 8 aces and losing just 6 points behind his first serve, and he saved one break point to keep his serve intact. He was rock solid on the return as well, taking more than half of the points in Japanese's games to create 10 break points and he took 4 of these for a commanding win.
Sugita opened the match with a hold but he got broken in the next 4 service games, falling 6-1 3-0 behind, and the Argentine only had to bring the match home from that position. He did that in style, dictating the points with his forehand to take the remaining 3 games on own serve for the final 6-3 result in set number 2, and he can be happy with the way he performed today.
Nicolas Almagro scored one of his best wins of the season, toppling the 8th seed Benoit Paire by 6-3 6-2 in just 52 minutes. Almagro lost just 13 points in 9 service games, never facing a break point and controlling the rallies with his forehand.
On the other hand, Paire's backhand didn't work at all and without his best shot, he stood no chances against experienced Spaniard. Frenchman served at only 41% and his second serve was always in danger, so he dropped his serve thrice from as many chances Almagro created.
Paire fought well in the first set, he lost his serve at love in game 4 but was solid in the remaining 3 games. The only problem was, he couldn't do anything on return and Nicolas brought the set home by 6-3. The second set brought 4 solid holds on both sides but Almagro stepped in to take the final 5 games of the match, wrapping up a victory in no time at all.
World number 133 Bjorn Fratangelo scored his 3rd win of the season, beating the 6th seed Joao Sousa 6-3 6-4. Bjorn served at 75% and he fends off 6 out of 7 break points to limit the damage on his serve. On the other hand, Sousa served at only 48% and he got broken 3 times from 6 chances to continue his poor run in the last couple of weeks.
We saw 3 breaks in the middle of the first set, Fratangelo scored 2 to open up a 4-2 lead, and he held twice to win the set by 6-3. The only break in the second set came in game 3, Bjorn broke Joao at 15 and he was now very close to the finish line.
American repelled 3 break points in the next game to materialize the break and he served for the win in game 10, bringing the match home, but only after a huge drama. Namely, he needed 7 match points to seal the deal, saving 2 break points in between to reach the second round. Full story coming shortly.. First round results: