ATP Brisbane: First round underway down under

After an opening day with only one match on the schedule, the ATP World Tour season really got underway on Monday with a full slate of matches, including a pair of seeds and a home favourite kicking off their 2017 campaigns on day two at the Brisbane International.


The drama started immediately on Monday in Brisbane, as eighth seed David Ferrer broke the hearts of the home fans by sending 2016 semifinalist and home-favourite Bernard Tomic packing on day two in straight sets. The match got off to a wild start with the first three games going against serve before Ferrer held to take a 3-1 lead, but not before saving two more break points. The Spaniard broke again to take the set. The second set was far tighter, with neither player facing a break point until the 11th game of the set, when Tomic found himself down 5-6, 15-40. He saved the first two break points, but could not save a third as Ferrer broke again for the 6-3, 7-5 victory.

American Steve Johnson had a career-year in 2016, briefly holding the top spot in his country, but his 2017 did not get off the desired start as he was blown out by seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov in the first round. Dimitrov, who started the long climb back to the top ten in 2016, was solid from the start, converting both his break points to race through the opening set. Johnson came out strongly in the second, breaking in the opening game, only for the Bulgarian to immediately respond, leveling the score and soon broke again for a 4-2 lead. He never looked back, hanging on for the 6-2, 6-3 victory.

Grigor Dimitrov tees off on a backhand on Monday in Brisbane. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Grigor Dimitrov tees off on a backhand on Monday in Brisbane. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Doubles world number one Nicolas Mahut got his singles campaign underway with an impressive comeback victory over countryman Stephane Robert in three sets. Robert saved three break points before scoring the lone break of the opening set, but Mahut responded by converting the only break point in the second to send the match to a decider. Robert raced out to a 4-1 lead in the third, only for Mahut to win five unanswered games, including to breaks to steal the win.

Also in first round action, Kyle Edmund won a wild opening encounter with qualifier Ernesto Escobedo, taking out the American after a pair of tiebreaks. Viktor Troicki took the opening set of his first-round match with Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4 before the match was held over until Tuesday. The tournament got underway yesterday with a battle of young wildcards, as 22-year-old Sydney native Jordan Thompson delighted the Australian crowd by kicking off the 2017 ATP World Tour season with a win of 20-year-old Swede Elias Ymer 6-3, 6-2.

First round action continues Tuesday with fifth seed Rafael Nadal making his Brisbane debut.