ATP Budapest: Djere, Herbert, Millman, Gojowczyk and Haase reach round two

Tennis - Attila Balazs secured the first win at the ATP tournament since Umag 2017

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Budapest: Djere, Herbert, Millman, Gojowczyk and Haase reach round two

World no. 85 Peter Gojowczyk has made a winning start in Budapest, defeating a qualifier Lloyd Harris 7-5, 6-4 in swift 68 minutes. The German lost 15 points in 11 service games, getting broken twice and erasing that deficit with a rock-solid performance on the return that saw him scoring four breaks from five opportunities that propelled him over the finish line.

Peter broke in the very first game of the match, losing the advantage in game four when the young South African broke back at love to get back on the positive side of the scoreboard. Trailing 5-4, Gojowczyk secured the last three games, breaking Lloyd at 5-5 and finishing the set on own serve.

The decisive moment of the second set came after four good holds, with three straight breaks of serve in the proudest moments for the returners in the entire match. Peter claimed two of those to forge the lead, sealing the deal with two holds at love to march into the second round.

The 5th seed Laslo Djere prevailed against Ernests Gulbis 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 in two hours and 56 minutes, facing just five break points and converting four out of 13 opportunities on the return to edge the rival who had the match in his hands until the very last minutes.

Gulbis led 5-3 in the decider, missing the opportunity to get the job done on serve in the tenth game and allowing Laslo to take the tie break 7-2 and march into the second round. The 6th seed and last year's finalist John Millman kicked off his campaign with a commanding 6-1, 6-2 win over a qualifier Miomir Kecmanovic in 58 minutes.

The Aussie lost 14 points in eight service games, facing no break points and stealing 56% of the return points for four breaks from seven opportunities. The more experienced player had the upper hand from start to finish, rattling off 16 of the first 18 points to race into a 4-0 lead after a forehand error from Miomir in game four.

The youngster netted a backhand in the seventh game to hand the opener to John who continued in the same style in set number two as well, scoring a break in game three after outplaying Kecmanovic in another baseline rally.

John broke at love at 4-2 and brought the match home with a service winner a few minutes later to avoid spending more time on the court and poor weather in Budapest. World no. 246 Attila Balazs shined in front of the home fans (or, more precisely, those few who came to watch matches on a cold day) to oust Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 19 minutes for the first win at ATP tournament since Umag 2017!

Attila fended off all six break points he faced and Hubert was unable to follow that pace in his games, facing only two break points but getting broken once in each set to send the Hungarian over the top. Pierre-Hugues Herbert confirmed his fine form on clay, beating Egor Gerasimov 6-3, 6-2 in 71 minutes for the 12th ATP win of the season.

Attila Balazs