The sixth-seeded Italian relied on 21 aces to battle through service games and saved seven of the nine break points he faced to triumph 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 after two hours and 23 minutes.
“Today was for sure a tough match. It's since Australia that I [was] not playing so it's almost a month. I had to get into the match, into the competition,” Arnaldi said. “Today wasn't easy because there was a lot of wind, so… the match could [have] gone the other way. But I'm just happy the way I stayed [in] the match. I fought basically every point so I'm really happy.”
Arnaldi has won at least one match in every tournament he has played this season. The wind made conditions tricky in Florida, but he navigated it well to set a second-round clash with Liam Broady or Rinky Hijikata.
“It's just different,” Arnaldi said. “This is the first time that I'm playing here, so I'm happy that I won the match and I'm trying to get used to these conditions.”
"It's great. Tried not to think about it there at the end, but super happy with how I've developed the last six months through the adversity that I've been through the past couple years," Kypson said. "Happy to be out here competing, be healthy and just give it my best and see where the chips fall."
Did You Know?
One year ago Arnaldi had not yet cracked the Top 100 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The Italian last month reached a career-high World No. 38.