ATP Brisbane: Seeds struggle in second round

After a fairly routine opening round, there was tons of drama as the second round got underway at the Brisbane International on Wednesday. Two seeds were sent packing, while two favourites, who were making their season debuts, were given some tough tests. Here’s what happened on a wild day in Brisbane.


Kei Nishikori got his season underway on Wednesday, but had to overcome an early lapse in his second round match with American youngster Jared Donaldson. After blowing the opening set, Nishikori would have to rally to get his season underway with a three-set win. It looked like it was going to be an easy day at the office for the third seed when he took an immediate 4-0 lead in the opening set, only for the Japanese to drop six straight games as Donaldson roared back to take the opening set. Nishikori would again blow a lead in the second set, this time only a single break, but was able to break Donaldson in the final game to send the match to a decider. Midway through the third, Nishikori scored the break and this time he did not surrender the lead, hanging on for the 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.

The only seed who had a somewhat easy day was Stan Wawrinka, who was playing his first match of 2017. The Swiss escaped his second round match in straight sets over Viktor Troicki, The second seed fell behind a break midway through the opening set, but was able to break his Serbian opponent as he served for the set, leveling the affair at 5-5. There was nothing between the two men in the tiebreak, as it went with serve until 5-5, when Wawrinka scored the minibreak and took the breaker 7-5. Like the tiebreak, the second set was extremely close. Once again, Troicki blinked late, giving up a break at 4-4 and the second seed made no mistake, serving out the 7-6(5), 6-4 win in the following game.

Stan Wawrinka lines up a forehand on Wednesday in Brisbane. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Stan Wawrinka lines up a forehand on Wednesday in Brisbane. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Eighth seed David Ferrer was sent packing in a tight second round match at the hands of host young gun Jordan Thompson. Ferrer scored the lone break to take the opening set, but fell behind early in the second. He would break Thompson as the Aussie tried to serve out the set, only to be broken as he served to stay in the set at 5-6. The third set was identical to the second, as Thompson broke for a 3-1 lead, only Ferrer to break him as he served for the match. The Spaniard saved a pair of match points while serving to level the set at 5-5. But the Aussie was not deterred, as he once again broke Ferrer as the eighth seed served to send the match to a tiebreak, this time to seal a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 win. Thompson will play Nishikori in the quarterfinals.

In the final match of the day, Kyle Edmund was leading by a set and a break when sixth seed Lucas Pouille was forced to retire. After saving break points in the opening game, the Brit returned the favour and broke for a 2-0 lead in the opening set and never looked back, riding that break through the opening set. He would break in the third game of the second and held to love for the 3-1 lead before Pouille was forced to stop. Edmund will play Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.

The remaining second round matches will be played tomorrow, including Rafael Nadal and the season debuts for fourth seed Dominic Thiem and defending champion Milos Raonic.