ATP Hamburg: Felix Auger-Aliassime and Karen Khachanov win. Kei Nishikori bows out



by   |  VIEW 3354

ATP Hamburg: Felix Auger-Aliassime and Karen Khachanov win. Kei Nishikori bows out

Felix Auger-Aliassime is through to the second round in Hamburg, beating Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 7-6 in an hour and 47 minutes. The Canadian lost 14 points in ten service games, fending off all four break chances to mount the pressure on the other side of the net, stealing the Italian's serve twice in the opener and prevailing in the second to hit the last 16.

Dominating on both serve and return, Felix grabbed a break in the fourth game of the first set for a 3-1 lead, holding at love in game seven and wrapping up the set with a break at 15 a few minutes later. Sonego started to play better in set number two, defending his serve nicely and creating four chances on the return that could have pushed him ahead.

Staying focused, Auger-Aliassime repelled them all and sealed the tie break 7-2 with a forehand down the line winner for the 18th victory of the season. Yannick Hanfmann took down Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 13 minutes after a rock-solid performance.

The German dropped ten points behind the initial shot, fending off the only break point he faced and seizing both opportunities created on the return to emerge at the top. Hanfamm saved a break point in game five, stealing Gael's serve in game ten for 6-4.

Monfils couldn't do anything on the return in set number two, getting broken in game six and allowing Yannick to secure the triumph with a hold at 15 at 5-3. Kei Nishikori can't catch a break after returning to the court following a big break, suffering a commanding loss to Cristian Garin.

The Chilean needed an hour and 16 minutes to notch a 6-0, 6-3 win, losing serve once and delivering five breaks that carried him through. The Japanese landed 78% of the first serve in but drew nothing from that, struggling to find the rhythm from the baseline and keep the points on his racquet.

Garin grabbed a break in the second game after winning the backhands battle, securing another break two games later when Kei netted a forehand.

Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev made winning start in Hamburg.

The Chilean close the set with a forehand down the line winner in game six for a bagel, falling 3-2 behind in set number two following Nishikori's only break.

Kei squandered a game point that could have sent him 4-2 up, suffering breaks in games six and eight to push Garin 5-3 in front. Serving for the victory, Cristian fended off three break points with winners, forcing an error from Kei to bring the game home and advance into the second round.

Karen Khachanov needed more than two and a half hours to dismiss Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6, 4-6, 7-5, trailing 4-2 in the decider and taking five of the last six games to cross the finish line first. Struff had his chances to grab a win, suffering three straight breaks when it mattered the most to hand the triumph to the Russian.