ATP Basel: Pair of seeds lead opening day action

Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic got their campaigns underway on the first day of the Swiss Indoors

ATP Basel: Pair of seeds lead opening day action
Kei Nishikori hits a forehand. Photo: Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

The Swiss Indoors got underway with just a few matches on the schedule on Monday. Despite the limited schedule, two of the top four seeds were in action leading the field. Play is underway in Basel, so let’s take a look at what happened on day one at the Swiss Indoors.

Results

Former Basel finalist Kei Nishikori held off an early challenge from Dusan Lajovic to get his campaign underway with a 7-5, 6-1 victory. Playing his first match in several weeks, Nishikori was unable to take control of the match as Lajovic matched him shot for shot for most of the opening set. In the final game, as the Serbian served to send the set to a tiebreak, Nishikori finally seized an opportunity, holding the first two break points of the set, converting the second to take the opening set. The second was all Nishikori. He came out swinging, breaking twice on his way to a 5-0 lead in the second set. Lajovic briefly stopped the run with a hold before Nishikori won his eighth game out of the previous nine to take the match.

In desperate need of a big result this week, Race to London hopeful Marin Cilic got off to the start he needed, taking just over an hour to dispatch the hard-hitting Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets. The Croatian got off to a dream start, breaking in the first game of the match. He backed up the break brilliantly, losing one point in his first four service games. He finally showed some cracks when trying to serve out the opening set, saving a break point and needing three set points to wrap it up. He quickly reclaimed his form to start the second set, breaking to start once again. This time, he added an insurance break to take a 5-2 lead. Serving out the match, Cilic made no mistake holding to love to seal the 6-4, 6-2 win.  

Marin Cilic hits a backhand. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Marin Cilic hits a backhand. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Frederico Delbonis got proceedings underway with a straight-sets win over Andrey Kuznetsov. In two nearly-identical tight sets, Kuznetsov failed to keep his nerve serving to stay in both sets and was broken to end the sets both times, with Delbonis eventually scoring the 6-4, 6-4 victory. The Argentinian converted the lone break point in the opening set, but had to save two against his own serve early in the second before getting to Kuznetsov late again. He awaits the winner between Ricardas Berankis and second seed Milos Raonic in the second round.

Lastly, American Donald Young battled into the second round with a straight-sets win over Ilya Marchenko. Young fell behind an early break to start the match, but from 2-4 down, he reeled off four straight games, including back-to-back breaks to take the opening set. The American was forced to save a break point early in the second set to avoid a repeat of the opening set, but Marchenko was doomed to repeat his fate. After saving that break point in the third game, Young began to build his momentum again. From 2-2, the American once again pulled off four straight games to wrap up the set, taking the match 6-4, 6-2.

First round action continues tomorrow.