ATP Zhuhai: Kecmanovic, De Minaur, Zhang and Andujar make winning start


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ATP Zhuhai: Kecmanovic, De Minaur, Zhang and Andujar make winning start

The 7th seed Alex de Minaur is through to the second round in Zhuhai, defeating the fellow Aussie John Millman 6-1, 6-3 in 70 minutes for the 24th victory of the season. Millman grabbed two breaks but needed more to challenge the young opponent, dropping 60% of the points in his games and suffering six breaks from seven chances offered to Alex who will now face Andy Murray in the battle for the quarter-final.

De Minaur scored four breaks in the first set, sealing it with a forehand crosscourt winner in just over 30 minutes and moving 4-1 in set number two with a double break. Alex barely experienced troubles in the last three service games, jumping over the top with three winners in game nine to set the clash against the three-time Grand Slam champion.

Miomir Kecmanovic needed 30 minutes to take the first set against Casper Ruud who was forced to retire, sending Miomir into the last 16 where he will face Albert Ramos-Vinolas. A qualifier Damir Dzumhur recovered after the opening set to take down the struggling Italian Marco Cecchinato 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, dropping only 12 points behind the initial shot in sets two and three to leave the Italian behind, playing better and better as the match progressed to score a much-needed victory.

Two years after playing in the quarter-final in Shenzhen, Zhizhen Zhang delivered the fifth ATP victory, beating Dominik Koepfer 7-5, 6-2 in an hour and 25 minutes. The Chinese saved five out of six break points and the German couldn't follow that pace, getting broken four times and wasting a massive 5-2 advantage in the opening set to lose 11 of the last 13 games, squandering five set points on the return in games eight and ten and allowing Zhang to steal the set and dominate in the second to score a win in front of the home fans.

Pablo Andujar defeated Steve Johnson 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 in an hour and 41 minutes, breaking the American five times in sets two and three to overcome an early deficit and march towards the finish line and the place in the last 16.