ATP Chengdu: Istomin dethrones Khachanov. Donaldson ousts Edmund

Tennis - It was a terrible day for the seeds, as 4 of them left the tournament earlier than they expected

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Chengdu: Istomin dethrones Khachanov. Donaldson ousts Edmund

Wednesday's program in Chengdu failed to deliver some super exciting matches, with 4 one-sided encounters and none of the 11 sets reaching 5-5 (returners won 4 games in just 2 sets). Also, it also wasn't the best day for the seeds, as 4 out of 5 had to hit the exit! In the last match of the first round, newly-crowned ATP champion Peter Gojowczyk continued his great run, beating the 8th seed Leonardo Mayer 6-2 6-2 in just 55 minutes. He had enough time to fly from Metz to Chengdu and prepare himself for the action, saving all 4 break points and breaking Mayer on every chance he created.

German's first serve worked like a charm, winning 27 out of 30 points, and he was all over his rival on the return as well, taking almost 50% of the points in Argentine's games to break him 4 times. Peter had to dig deep early on, fending off 3 break points in his opening service game, but he cruised through the rest of the set, settling into a nice rhythm.

He broke Leonardo in games 3 and 7, bringing the set home with a love service game for a 6-2. It was all about Gojowczyk at the start of the second set as well, breaking Mayer in the first game to create a 6-2 2-0 gap, rattling off 5 games in a row and 20 out of the last 25 points! The Argentine never found his shots and he got broken again in game 5, this time at love, leaving German to serve for the match in game 8.

Peter had to save a break point but in the end, he clinched the victory on his second match point, reaching the second round in style. In by far the longest match of the day (the other didn't last more than 66 minutes), Jared Donaldson notched his 20th ATP win of the season, ousting the 6th seed Kyle Edmund by 6-0 1-6 6-4.

The second set aside, it was a dominant performance from the American, who lost 5 points on serve in total in sets 1 and 3, keeping the pressure on Kyle and scoring a break in the last game of the match to burst his way into the second ATP quarter-final. Overall, Edmund was powerless against the first serve from his rival, winning 3 points on the return in the entire match (Jared was 30 from 33) and he did just enough on Donaldson's second serve to create 5 break points, stealing opponent's serve twice in the second set.

On the other hand, Briton served at only 47% and despite 10 aces, he lost 43% of the points in his games, facing 10 break points and losing serve 4 times to end on the losing side. Jared sailed through the opener, breaking Edmund's serve after a long opening game and he never looked back, grabbing the set by 6-0 in some 25 minutes.

Kyle restored his serve in the second set, dropping just 2 points in 4 service games and breaking Jared in games 2 and 6 for a 6-1, building up a momentum before the decider. The American managed to leave the second set behind him and he was again the dominant figure on the court in set number 3, losing 3 points in 5 service games and keeping the pressure on Kyle's side of the net.

Briton endured the first 8 games for a 4-4 after 6 deuces on his serve, but he struggled in the 10th game as well, serving to stay in the match. He missed a game point and Donaldson finally converted his 3rd match point to seal the deal and book his place in the last 8.

For the third time in the last 4 events, Karen Khachanov had to end his run in the opening round, losing to Denis Istomin by 6-3 6-2 in just 64 minutes, playing nothing like 12 months ago when he won his first ATP title here.

Istomin fired 8 aces and he saved all 3 break points he faced to keep his serve intact, making a lot of damage with his first serve and outplaying the Russian from the baseline as well. Kren's first serve also worked great, but the problem was he landed in only 38% of it, struggling a lot on his second serve and getting broken 3 times from 6 opportunities he gave to the Uzbek.

Istomin found his zone right from the start and he broke in the second game of the match, winning 12 out of the first 15 points to get the things running. Khachanov had to save another 2 break points in game 6 to avoid an even bigger deficit, and he finally got a chance to pull the break back in game 9, before Denis won 3 points in a row to clinch the set by 6-3.

Russian wasted a game point and he got broken at the start of the second set, having to chase the result early on, and he couldn't convert 2 break points in game 4, with Istomin acting like a more focused player in the crucial moments.

The match was decided when Karen dropped serve again in game 7, and Denis pushed himself over the finish line with a hold at love in game 8 for only his 3rd ATP quarter-final of the season. Wednesday's results:



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Atp Chengdu