Competing in the qualifying round for the first time since Paris 2012, a former world no. 3 Grigor Dimitrov has reached the main draw in Geneva, beating the 7th seed Thomas Fabbiano 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 29 minutes. The Bulgarian lost 16 points in 11 service games, fending off two out of three break points and keeping the pressure on the Italian who couldn't deal with it, dropping 45% of the points behind the initial shot and suffering three breaks from 14 chances given to Grigor.
Winning just nine matches so far in 2019, Dimitrov made a slow start, losing serve in game five to trail 4-2 before pulling the break back on the seventh break point in game eight to level the score and gain the momentum.
Creating four set points on the return at 6-5, Grigor converted the last one to grab the opener and dominated in set number two, giving away only six points in his games and opening a 5-2 lead with a break at love in game two.
Fabbiano saved a match point on serve in game eight, earning a couple of break points in the next game that could have prolonged the encounter before Grigor repelled them to move over the top and secure a place in the main draw.
Another player who has been struggling to find the form, Damir Dzumhur defeated Tommy Paul 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes, saving five out of eight break points and delivering four good return games to cross the finish line and move into the main draw, seeking only the fourth win of the season.
Lorenzo Sonego prevailed against the young Serb Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4, 7-6 in an hour and 36 minutes, firing 12 aces and losing 16 points on serve. Miomir had to work hard to match those numbers and he failed in the end, creating only one break point and getting broken twice in the opening set, playing with no room for errors in set number two.
There, there were no breaks of serve and Miomir saved a match point in game ten to reach a tie break that Lorenzo grabbed 7-5 to seal the deal and enter the main draw. World no. 238 Bernabe Zapata Miralles has qualified for the main draw in Geneva for the second year in a row, scoring the first ATP win there a year ago.
The Spaniard needed only 39 minutes to dismiss Kaichi Uchida 6-1, 6-1, fending off all three break points and delivering five breaks to control the scoreboard all the time. After ten straight defeats, Ernests Gulbis claimed the first ATP win since Rotterdam, beating Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2, 7-6 in an hour and 50 minutes.
Both players had their chances on the return and it was Gulbis who used them more efficiently, notching six breaks and moving over the top despite trailing 4-0 in set number two. Nishioka served for the set at 6-5 and led 6-5 in the tie break but it wasn't to be for him, losing the breaker 9-7 to push Ernests through.
Juan Ignacio Londero needed 70 minutes to dismiss Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-4, keeping his service games intact and producing one break in each set to book the place in the second round and celebrate the tenth win of the season.