After an early exit in Montreal, Nick Kyrgios is back on the winning road, defeating Lorenzo Sonego 7-5, 6-4 in swift an hour and 19 minutes for the 42nd Masters 1000 victory. The Aussie had 18 winners and 13 unforced errors, blasting a service winner in every second point and overpowering the Italian in both the shortest and mid-range exchanges to secure the place in the second round.
Nick lost eight points behind the initial shot, never facing a break point and pushing the rival to the limits on the second serve to earn one break in each set and enter the last 32. Players needed just over 30 minutes to complete the first six games and it was Kyrgios who had the edge when it mattered the most, securing a break in game 11 after a double fault from Sonego and taking 12 of the last 14 points for a 7-5.
Untroubled in his games, Nick landed a backhand return winner at 1-1 for a crucial break, sealing the deal with five winners after deuce in game ten to cross the finish line and set Karen Khachanov clash. Competing for the first time since the quarter-final at Wimbledon, Sam Querrey prevailed against Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6, 7-6 in an hour and 37 minutes for the 71st Masters 1000 triumph.
Pouille won their encounter at the Australian Open in January and it was the American who had the edge this time around, with two breaks on each side and the better performance form Sam in the tie breaks. The Frenchman saved three set points on serve in games ten and 12 of the opener before Querrey took a tie break 7-2 with two mini-breaks.
Pierre-Hugues had a 5-2 advantage in set number two and a set point on serve at 5-3 that Querrey denied with a perfect return winner, breaking back with another fabulous return and racing through the tie break with three mini-breaks, moving over the top in the eighth point with a backhand return winner to secure the spot in round two.
A qualifier Pablo Carreno Busta took down Gilles Simon 7-5, 7-6 in a grueling two hours and 17 minutes, fending off five out of six break points and stealing the rival’s serve twice to find himself over the top. Trailing 5-4 in the first set, the Spaniard won three straight games to wrap it up, repelling a set point in game 12 of set number two to reach the tie break that he claimed 7-4 to avoid the decider and spending more time on the court.
Heading to Cincinnati with three straight losses, Lucas Pouille tasted the victory again after a 6-3, 7-6 win over a qualifier Denis Kudla in an hour and 38 minutes. The first set offered five breaks in nine games, with Lucas seizing three for a 6-3, wasting three match points on serve at 5-4 in set number two and saving two set points at 4-6 in the tie break to grab the last four points and bypass a possible blow.
Juan Ignacio Londero received a wild card and used it well, toppling Matteo Berrettini 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 27 minutes for the first Masters 1000 victory. The Argentine made the difference with the second serve, dropping only 14 points behind the initial shot and facing one break point.
Matteo converted it but struggled on the second serve big time, facing six break chances and suffering two breaks to propel the rival through following a decisive break for Londero in the sixth game of the second set. Jan-Lennard Struff overpowered a qualifier Ivo Karlovic 7-5, 7-6 in an hour and 31 minutes, never facing a break point despite landing only 47% of the first serve in!
The veteran was the semi-finalist here 11 years ago and fought well today too, fending off four out of five break chances but losing ground in the closing stages of both sets to push Struff into the second round.