World no. 16 Marin Cilic has made a winning start in Montreal, beating a qualifier Bradley Klahn 6-3, 7-6 in an hour and 38 minutes. The Croat tamed his shots nicely, hitting 16 winners and 15 unforced errors and never experiencing troubles on serve.
Klahn blasted 19 aces but couldn't follow the rival's pace, getting broken twice and staying neck and neck with a former US Open champion in set number two where he even had a set point. Barely losing a point on serve in the opener, Marin held everything under control and broke Klahn in the third game when the American sprayed a forehand error.
Serving to stay in the set, Bradley suffered a break at 15 to hand the opener to Marin 6-3, raising the level in set number two that lasted 70 minutes. Klahn fended off two break points in the fourth game to reach the tie break where he had a set point at 6-5 that Marin saved with a service winner, converting the second match point at 8-7 to march into the next round.
A qualifier Daniel Evans claimed the third Masters 1000 win, ousting Atlanta champion Alex de Minaur 6-4, 7-6 in just under two hours. The Briton prevailed in the pivotal moments, repelling seven out of eight break chances and seizing both opportunities on the return to prevail in straight sets and book Rafael Nadal clash.
Daniel sliced his way towards the first break already in the first game of the match, fending off two break points in game six and sealing the opener with a service winner in game ten. The young Aussie moved in front with a break at 3-2 in set number two thanks to a forehand winner, hitting a double fault in the very next game to bring Evans back into contention.
Five good holds later they went into the tie break where Evans converted the second match point at 7-6 following a backhand mistake from Alex. The 12th seed John Isner needed two hours and 19 minutes to topple Jordan Thompson 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, winning two points more than his rival.
The American fired 26 aces and saved two out of three break points, unable to create more chances on the return and finish the encounter earlier, with Thompson who also lost serve once. The Aussie was never challenged in the opening set, serving well and scoring a break in game four when John netted a forehand.
Serving for the set at 5-3, Jordan held at love with a service winner to gain the lead after 38 minutes. With no room for errors, John took charge in set number two, never facing a break point and stealing Jordan's serve at 3-2 with a forehand winner, sending the match into a decider after four unreturned serves at 5-3.
In the final set, Thompson saved a break chance at 4-4 to prolong the drama and reach the tie break where he was two points away from victory at 6-6. In the end, it was Isner who closed it 8-6 with an ace, avoiding another early loss after Washington.
Radu Albot was too strong for Gilles Simon, celebrating a 6-4, 6-2 win in an hour and 36 minutes, the seventh at Masters 1000 level. The Moldovan faced only one break point in the entire match, taking almost half of the return points to secure four breaks and master the scoreboard after an early break he suffered.
Los Cabos winner Diego Schwartzman prevailed against the struggling Italian Marco Cecchinato 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 in two hours and 35 minutes despite taking three points less than the Italian who is now on an 11-19 this season. There were two breaks of serve on each side and Diego grabbed the second set tie break 7-5, standing on the verge of the defeat and overcoming all the obstacles to secure the decider with two breaks that sent him over the top.