ATP Halle: Kei Nishikori, David Goffin claim victories on opening day

Kei Nishikori and David Goffin staged rallies to claim victory in their opening round matches at the Gerry Weber Open. Meanwhile, Sergiy Stakhovsky bested an American competitor to advance, while other matches were suspended because of rain.

Kei comes back

Nishikori received something of a surprise in his match against Lucas Pouille in his opening round match. The Frenchman burst out of the gate with a first set win after a tie-break. However, Nishikori was undeterred and stormed back. The Japanese number one and second seed in Halle broke his opponent multiple times in the second set.

The world number six would eventually coast to victory 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4. 

Goffin ousts Coric

Goffin had just as difficult a match as Nishikori. The Belgian found himself down after his opponent won a tie-break as well. Borna Coric, ranked 49th in the world, looked to be on his way to another victory over a higher ranked player. 

Yet, Goffin, fresh off his impressive showing at the French Open, would claim his own tiebreak victory. He, too, would break his lower-seeded competitor to claim a 6-4 third set clincher. Goffin won the match 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-4.

Yet, another top seed was toppled in Halle. David Ferrer has struggled mightily this season. Today, he couldn't avoid yet another upset, this time at the hands of Andreas Seppi

The Spaniard struggled in the opening set of the match. He lost serve in the sixth and final games of the set. Ferrer then backed that up with getting broken in his first service game to begin the following set. Seppi, the second-ranked Italian on the ATP World Tour, won the match 6-4, 6-4. 

Meanwhile, Stakhovsky needed three sets to defeat American Denis Kudla. The Ukrainian qualifier is seeking his first career title of 2016. 

Elsewhere, Benjamin Becker downed  Ernests Gulbis Gulbis is another player who had a particularly impressive outing at the French Open. Today he lost 5-7, 3-6, crumbling under the showing of his own service game. 

Ernests Gulbis failed to build on an impressive showing at the French Open. (Photo: Getty Images).
Ernests Gulbis failed to build on an impressive showing at the French Open. (Photo: Getty Images).

Rainy days

Weather delays have had a particular presence so far in the tournaments in Germany. After forcing several suspensions in Stuttgart (including forcing the championship match to be suspended until the following day), rain reared its ugly head once again. Several players began their matches only to see wet conditions forced suspension of play.  

The players will return tomorrow amid an already heavy schedule in Halle.