ATP 250 Umag (Outdoor Clay) : Italian Marco Cecchinato scored his first ATP since Bucharest last year, ousting the 5th seed Gilles Simon 6-1 3-6 6-1 in an hour and 38 minutes.
Cecchinato, who played on clay in the almost entire season so far, served better, facing just 3 break points and losing serve twice. On the other hand, he was very efficient on the return as well, taking 45% of the points on Simon's serve and breaking him 5 times from 11 chances he earned.
Gilles couldn't find his rhythm from the baseline and he lost the opening set in 25 minutes, dropping serve in games 2 and 4. He started to play better in the second set, rattling off 4 games in a row from 3-2 down to claim the set by 6-3 and force a decider, and he had a break point in the first game of the final set.
Cecchinato saved it to stop his downfall, and he grabbed the last 5 games of the match, breaking Frenchman at 15 in games 4 and 6 to score a very important win. Ivan Dodig, doubles specialist who is currently ranked 412th in singles, received a wild card for the main draw and he used it well, beating Marius Copil 6-4 7-6 in an hour and 55 minutes.
This was his first ATP win since Nottingham last year and he earned it with better serving than his rival, saving 3 out of 4 break points and claiming 2 breaks to prevail in straight sets. Dodig served well in the first set, never facing a break point and keeping the pressure on his rival.
Copil saved 3 break points in game 6 but he got broken at the worst possible moment while serving to stay in the set in game 10. Romanian kicked off the second set in a better fashion, breaking in the first game of the set to open up a 2-0 lead, but Dodig broke back at love in game 4, avoiding to chase the result throughout the set.
The 11th game brought the biggest fight in the entire match, Ivan saved 2 break points to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard, and he won the tie break by 7-4 to clinch the match, with 4 mini-breaks on his side. First round results:
ATP 250 Bastad (Outdoor Clay) :
First round result:
In the opening match of the main draw, Henri Laaksonen took down young home star Mikael Ymer by 7-6 7-5 after grueling 2 hours and 24 minutes. In the match with 25 break points, the result went back and forth all the time, but it was more experienced Laaksonen who played better tennis in the closing stages of both sets to complete a win without having to play the deciding set. He saved 9 out of 13 break points while Mikael suffered an extra break of serve, fending off 7 out of 12 that Henri had. The first set was a true roller-coaster, with 20 break points in total, and it was Swedish youngster who drew first blood, converting the 4th break point in game 3, only to lose his serve in the following game.
They exchanged breaks in games 5 and 6 as well, and the set was concluded with another set of breaks, as they failed to hold in the final 4 games before the tie break. The tie break was also very interesting, and it was Laaksonen who took the final 2 points from 5-5, sealing the set after almost 80 minutes of play. Laaksonen served better in the second set, he lost just 2 points in the first 3 service games, building the pressure around Mikael's game. Sede managed to stay in touch all the way until game 11 when he suffered a crucial break, and Laaksonen brought the win home with a solid service game a few minutes later.