Kecmanovic Advances At Chengdu Open

Miomir Kecmanovic (photo: Chengdu Open)

CHENGDU, September 21, 2023 (Press Release)

Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic was the only seeded player to prevail in the first round of the Chengdu Open 2023, defeating Zimbabwean qualifier Benjamin Lock 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 28 minutes on Court 1.

The 24-year-old World No. 47, who reached two ATP 250 finals this year, at Delray Beach and Estoril respectively, held his nerve during the important moments, saving seven of eight break points and converting four out of ten against his opponent to move into the second round.

Fifth seed and 2019 finalist Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan fell to Marcos Giron in the first round, with the US-American capitalising on three out of five break opportunities to win 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 in one hour and 41 minutes, snapping a four-match losing streak in the process.

“I’m very excited to get through today. Playing Alexander Bublik, he’s a very dangerous player and he’s got huge weapons.  I’ve played him a few times and I’m very happy to get through today. The margins are so small in tennis and I think I played well when I needed to,” said the 30-year-old.

The World No. 64 takes on Frenchmen Arthur Rinderknech in the second round, with the latter defeating lucky loser Li Tu 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6) earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, sixth seeded Australian Max Purcell fell in the first round to doubles partner Jordan Thompson, who saved four set points in an intense second set tie break to prevail 6-2, 7-6 (10-8) in one hour and 51 minutes.

This is World No. 56 Thompson’s first ATP Tour-level victory over his compatriot in three meetings, although he has defeated the world No. 43 Purcell three times in Challenger events over the past six years.

“It’s tough playing a good friend and doubles partner. We’re from the same place in Sydney and we actually both got coached by my dad, so it’s super tough. But it’s good to finally get him at a Tour-level event. I’ve got three on him at the Challenger level, but he got me twice at the big boy level, so it’s nice to get one back,” said the 29-year-old.

Thompson will face Dusan Lajovic tomorrow, following the Serb’s 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory today over 24-year-old Belgian rising star Zizou Bergs in one hour and 42 minutes.

The 33-year-old doubles defending champ, competing only in singles this year, converted two of four break opportunities against his world No. 172 opponent, one each in the first and third sets to seal the victory.

Wild card Bergs, who is still recovering from a wrist injury, threatened an upset following a strong second set in which he converted two out of two break points, but could not sustain his momentum as Lajovic held firm in the third, saving two break points in the final game.

“It was a difficult match, especially because my opponent was only slicing from his backhand side – he probably had some issues there. It’s not easy when you’re playing against some atypical tennis. I lost a little bit of control in the second set, and as soon as you lose control a little bit, especially emotionally, then you’re not there fighting and it’s tough to play. But I’m happy that I won,” said the world No.52 Serb.

In other singles first round results, Aussie rising star Philip Sekulic secured a 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 upset victory over Portugal’s Nuno Borges in his first main draw appearance of an ATP Tour-level tournament. The plucky 20-year-old qualifier converted five out of 16 break opportunities to set up a second round clash with tournament number two seed Lorenzo Musetti.

Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas, Aussie Chris O’Connell and Columbia’s Daniel Elahi Galan also notched straight set victories today to move into the second round.

In today’s doubles first round action, top seeded French pair Sadio Doumbia and Fabian Reboul overcame a formidable test from Dutch duo Robin Haase and Bart Stevens to triumph 6-4, 4-6, 12-10 in one hour and 29 minutes, while Roman Safiullin and Aussie John Peers similarly survived a strong effort from local wild cards Cui Jie and Wang Aaron to prevail 6-0, 4-6, 10-7 in 72 minutes.

Four singles second round matches and four doubles first round ties will be contested at the Sichuan International Tennis Centre tomorrow from 1pm onwards, with third seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov set to open his campaign with a first-time encounter against Varillas.

The former world No. 3 is in his third Chengdu Open outing, with his best result being a semifinals appearance in 2016, and will be seeking his landmark 400th career win tomorrow.

Meanwhile, fourth seed Daniel Evans will kick off his campaign against Safiullin, whom he last met and defeated in the 2019 Quimper Challenger event.

World No. 27 Evans has had a good season, picking up his second and biggest career title at the ATP 500 Mubadala Citi DC Open in August, notching wins over Frances Tiafoe and Dimitrov along the way. The Brit is also fresh off a Davis Cup victory over Australia’s world No.12 Alex De Minaur earlier this month.

Also in singles action tomorrow is Japan’s Taro Daniel, who takes on O’Connell for the second time this season in the day’s first Court 1 match, having defeated the Aussie on the clay courts of the French Open in May.

In tomorrow’s doubles action on Court 1, second seeded Brazilian-Portuguese combo Francisco Cabral and Rafael Matos will take on the Aussie pair of O’Connell and Aleksander Vukic, while the third seeds, Brazil’s Marcelo Demoliner and Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop, begin their Chengdu Open tournament against Giron and his New Zealander partner Rubin Statham.

On Court 2, the Columbian-Swedish duo of Nicolas Barrientes and Andre Goransson take on Borges and Rinderknech, followed by the match between Purcell-Thompson and Uruguayan-Finnish pair Ariel Behar and Patrik Niklas-Salminen.

Tickets for main draw matches start from RMB50 for first round matches and may be purchased here.