ATP Cologne 2: Miomir Kecmanovic, Gilles Simon, Adrian Mannarino advance

Tennis - Yoshihito Nishioka, Egor Gerasimov and Steve Johnson are also in the second round

by Jovica Ilic
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ATP Cologne 2: Miomir Kecmanovic, Gilles Simon, Adrian Mannarino advance

Alexander Zverev claimed the ATP title in Cologne on Sunday, with Cologne 2 starting on Monday. The young Serb Miomir Kecmanovic scored the 16th victory in 2020, beating a lucky loser Sumit Nagal 4-6, 7-6, 6-1 in two hours and 15 minutes.

The Indian failed to seal the deal in the second set tie break, fading from the court in the decider to push Miomir into the last 16. The Serb lost serve four times (thrice in the opener), clinching five breaks to overcome the deficit and cross the finish line first.

Nagal made the strongest start, racing into a 5-0 lead and wasting a set point on the return in game six that could have delivered a bagel for him. Kecmanovic pulled two breaks back in games seven and nine, only to lose serve again in game ten and hand the opener to Sumit.

The Indian fought back from 5-3 down in set number two, reaching a tie break and losing it 7-4 to keep Miomir in contention. With momentum on his side, the Serb stormed over his opponent in the deciding set, serving well and clinching two breaks to move over the top in style.

The 8th seed Adrian Mannarino toppled Alexei Popyrin 6-2, 6-2 in 61 minutes for the fifth victory of the season. The Frenchman fended off all four break points and stole almost half of the return points to control the scoreboard.

Mannarino rattled off five straight games in the opener from 1-2 and had the advantage in set number two as well. He broke Popyrin in games three and seven to forge the advantage, securing the triumph with a hold at 5-2. Gilles Simon ousted Jordan Thompson 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and 45 minutes, dropping serve once and seizing three breaks for the ATP win no.

490.

Miomir Kecmanovic, Gilles Simon, Adrian Mannarino are through to R2 in Cologne.

From 3-3 in the first set, Simon won 12 of the last 15 points to take the set, with nothing to separate the opponents in the opening ten games of set number two.

With no room for errors at 4-5, Simon held at love and broke without losing a point to open a 6-5 gap, saving two break points in game 12 to move over the top and open the title chase. The 9th seed Marin Cilic suffered another loss in a terrible season, falling to Steve Johnson 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 58 minutes.

Marin saved eight out of nine break chances but it wasn't enough for a more favorable result, repelling four set points at 5-6 in the opener before losing the tie break 7-3. Johnson grabbed a break in the first game of the second set and kept it until the end for only the sixth ATP victory of the crippled season.

Gilles Simon Adrian Mannarino Steve Johnson
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