39-year-old veteran Ivo Karlovic has produced some of his magic yet again today, saving two match points in a mighty close 6-7 7-6 6-4 win over Tommy Robredo in 2 hours and 15 minutes for his ninth win of the season. It was another extraordinary performance from Karlovic on serve, blasting 29 aces and losing just 19 points in his games, never facing a break point.
Robredo was also very solid, sailing through his service games until the penultimate game of the match and wasting those two match points in the second set tie break. They both found the range of their shots right from the start and we saw just one deuce in the first set, setting up a tie break after only 38 minutes.
Tommy grabbed an early mini-break with a cross court forehand winner and he kept the focus in his points, firing a service winner to clinch the breaker 7-5 and earn the lead after 48 minutes. Just like in the opening set, the servers had the dominant role in set number two as well, with one deuce in Robredo's game and with an inevitable tie break, a must-win one for Ivo.
A former champion here had everything in his hands when Karlovic made a double fault in the fifth point but Ivo reduced his deficit to 5-4 with two winners, keeping himself alive. The Croat pulled the mini-break back in the 10th point and he saved a match point at 5-6 with a volley winner.
He fired a service winner at 7-8 to erase another match point and he delivered a forehand return winner in the 18th point to steal the breaker 10-8 and send the match into a decider. Nothing changed compared to the first two sets and the returners have won just seven points in the opening eight games to stay far away from break chances.
Nonetheless, that all changed in game nine when Ivo broke at 15 after a poor forehand from Tommy, and he had the opportunity to seal the deal on own serve in the following game. Four winners in game 10 pushed Karlovic into the second round and he will now face the eight seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas has notched his 11th ATP win after a 6-4 6-1 triumph over the fellow youngster Corentin Moutet. The Frenchman had to qualify for the main draw and he didn't have too much left in the tank for Stefanos, serving at 88% but losing 54% of the points in his games, facing 13 break points and dropping serve five times.
The Greek struggled a little bit with his second serve but he got broken only twice, dominating after a giving his serve away at the start of the second set. They started to push each other to the limits from the very first game, with Stefanos saving two break points to avoid an early setback.
The sixth game lasted for 15 minutes and Tsitsipas finally converted his eight break point to move 4-2 ahead when Corentin netted a forehand. The Frenchman kept fighting and he broke back in game nine with a forehand winner but his efforts proved to be in vain, with Tsitsipas scoring a crucial break in game 10 to close the set by 6-4.
The Greek hit a double fault to lose his serve at the start of set number two but his downfall didn't last for long, dominating in the rest of the match to sprint towards the second round. Moutet lost his advantage in game two when his forehand finished in the net and Tsitsipas grabbed another break in game four to move 3-1 ahead.
A smash winner pushed the Greek 5-1 up and he completed the triumph with a hold at love in game seven, placing a forehand winner to book the place in the second round, rattling off 24 out of the last 30 points. First round results: