Competing in only his second match of the season, Bernard Tomic needed just 53 minutes to dismiss Lukas Lacko 6-4, 6-2 and open the campaign in the best possible way. This was their first clash since Nice 2012 and Tomic had the advantage all the time, losing 14 points in nine service games and saving three break points in the fourth game to settle into a fine rhythm after that and mount the pressure on the other side of the court.
Bernard grabbed the lead after a 25-shot rally in game seven and he hit an ace at 5-4 to close the opener and move closer to the finish line. The Aussie lost five points on serve in set number two and Lukas couldn't follow that pace, netting a forehand in game three to give the serve away and spraying a backhand error at 2-4 to drift further away from the positive result.
Serving for the triumph, Bernard blasted a service winner for a hold at 15 in game eight and the place in round two where he will face John Isner. The 7th seed Jordan Thompson had to dig deep to oust the Long Island native Noah Rubin 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 in two hours and 35 minutes, prevailing in the closing stages of the second set to dominate in the decider and grab the fifth win of the season.
Jordan faced only one break point in the entire match and Rubin did a fantastic job to stay in touch for two sets, saving nine out of ten break points in sets one and two before fading from the court. Noah saved no less than eight set points in the opening set to win it 9-7 in the tie break, staying in touch until 5-5 in set number two before Thompson broke in game 11 to open the lead and close the set with a hold in the following game.
Thompson was the only player on the court in the deciding set and he stole Rubin's serve three times to march towards the finish line and avoid spending more time on the court. In an even longer encounter, the Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi took down the 8th seed Tennys Sandgren 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 in two hours and 32 minutes for the first ATP win since the US Open.
Sandgren fired 22 aces and he lost serve only once in the entire match, winning the same number of points as Lorenzi but falling short in the crucial moments to send the Italian over the finish line. Paolo served great in the opening set, winning the tie break 7-4 and creating two match points on the return at 6-5 in set number two.
Sandgren repelled them both to extend the match and steal the tie break 7-4 to set the deciding set where he got broken in the third game to give Paolo the crucial advantage that he kept in the rest of the set to wrap up the triumph and enter the last 16.
Christopher Eubanks, Brayden Schnur, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Adrian Menendez-Maceiras have won the final qualifying matches to advance into the main draw where they will fight for important points.