Seventh seed John Millman and 8th seed Damir Dzumhur are headed to the second round in Memphis after surviving tough opening round matches.
Seeds Survive Tough Openers
Seventh seed John Millman continued his good string of results to start the season on Tuesday. It wasn't a work of art, but the Aussie outlasted Austin Krajicek in three sets 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-5. Millman looked strong over the first two sets, but both players looked worn down a bit in the third. In the decisive set, there were five breaks of serve and 13 break points. Millman looked to twice have locked up the set with break leads at 3-1 and 4-2, but he was broken in the next game both times to allow the American to stay in the match. The pressure finally got to Krajicek in the 12th game as he dished out his 10th break point of the set, with Millman securing the third and final break to close out the match.
Following the win, John Millman said in an Interview with The Commerical Appeal in Memphis that his wins this year tie back to confidence gained in 2015, "I think the back end of last year, the last six months were great. I qualified for Wimbledon and won a round there. I played a few more Tour events at the end of last year and started to win matches there. It starts to give you a lot of belief."
Damir Dzumhur was the other seed in action Tuesday. The 8th seeded Bosnian need three sets to put away Tim Smyczek. The two players traded breaks to open the first set and then settled in with holds to 3-3. Smyczek would crack again in the 7th game and once more to allow Dzumhur to close out the first set 6-3. The second set brought hope for the American as Smyczek broke twice in the 8th seed's first three service games and rolled to a 4-1 lead. The bonus break turned out to be big as Dzumhur would break back and climb back within 5-4 before Smyczek finally put the set away 6-4.
The final set looked good for the American as Smyczek broke to open and found himself in the lead at 2-1 after fighting off a break point. Smyczek would fall apart after that though. as he was broken in each of his next two service games. Dzumhur ripped off four straight games in all to take a 5-2 lead. The 8th seed would close on serve to secure the win 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Other First Round Results
In a battle of 18-year-old Americans, it was Taylor Fritz coming out on top against Michael Mmoh. The win was Fritz's second career win at the ATP level. He wrapped up the 6-3, 6-4 win in an hour and 12 minutes. Fritz nailed 12 aces and saved all three break points he faced. Tommy Paul was not as fortunate as the 18-year-old lost in three sets to Benjamin Becker. Paul struggled a bit too much with his serve throughout as Becker won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Paul would win just 57 percent of his service points and was broken four times on eleven chances.
The match of the day saw Ricardas Berankis edge Dudi Sela in a three set war 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-5. In the final set, each player allowed multiple break chances. It was Berankis who scored two breaks to one for Sela and used a vicious first serve to wrap up the win. The Lithuanian won 16 of 19 first serve points in the last set. Other results saw Marcel Granollers dispatch Malek Jaziri 6-1, 6-3 and qualifier Henri Laaksonen advanced when Matthew Ebden retired midway through the second set trailing 6-1, 3-0 with a leg injury.
Top seed and three-time defending champion Kei Nishikori takes the court on Wednesday. Nishikori will take on Ryan Harrison in the third match on Stadium Court. Several American seeds will be in action as well. Fifth seed Denis Kudla opens the day against Mikhail Kukushkin. He is followed by fourth seed Sam Querrey who faces Laaksonen. In the doubles ranks, third seeds Eric Butorac and Scott Lipsky will finish the night session on the Grandstand Court against Kudla and Donald Young. They will hope to avoid the rash of upsets that saw the top seeded Bryans and second seeds Max Mirnyi and Treat Huey both lose on Tuesday.