The 5th seed and the last year's finalist Andrey Rublev is through to the second round at the ATP 500 event in Hamburg, beating a qualifier Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 6-3 in 68 minutes. The Russian dropped ten points in nine service games, never facing a break point and delivering three breaks from eight opportunities to find himself over the top.
Andrey controlled the pace with 26 winners and 18 unforced errors, rattling off one good hold after another and doing enough damage on the return to secure the place in the second round and bounce back after an early Rome loss.
The returners claimed only nine points in the first six games, creating no chances and leaving the result locked at 3-3. Rublev drew first blood in the seventh game when Sandgren hit a forehand long, holding at 15 with a powerful forehand crosscourt winner and securing the opener after another break in game nine for a 6-3.
The young Russian landed a forehand winner at the beginning of the second set and grabbed a break in game two when the American netted a forehand. Tennys fended off two break points in game four to remain within one break deficit, unable to do anything on the return and facing two match points on serve at 2-5.
The American saved those with service winners, prolonging the clash for another game before Rublev sealed the deal with a volley winner in game nine. A qualifier Pablo Cuevas took down Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-2 in 80 minutes. Pablo saved five out of six break points, stealing Taylor's serve four times to seal the deal in straight sets and advance into the last 16.
Facing no troubles behind the initial shot in the opening four games, the Uruguayan had the upper hand, delivering a break in game seven and serving for the set at 5-4.
Andrey Rublev played on a high level to beat Tennys Sandgren.
Fritz made one last push, creating two break points but getting denied on both, allowing Cuevas to convert the third set point for a 6-4.
The more experienced player scored three breaks in set number two, controlling the pace and advancing into the second round. Jiri Vesely ousted Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-2 in an hour and 43 minutes. The Czech got broken twice in the first set, surviving a marathon that lasted for over an hour and bringing the victory home with a strong performance in set number two.
Jiri led 5-3 in the first set before the Frenchman got back to 5-5, only to lose the next two games and hand the set to his opponent. With the momentum on his side, Vesely grabbed two breaks in set number two and served well to bring the triumph home.
Tommy Paul bested Kevin Anderson 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 in under two hours, overcoming a slow second set to emerge at the top in the decider.