© NOVENTI OPEN/Mathias Schulz

Sebastian Korda converts three of his six break points to beat Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday in Halle.

Korda Upsets Bautista Agut In First Grass Match

The American will next play Nishikori or Berankis

#NextGenATP star Sebastian Korda wasted no time finding his feet on his grass-court debut Monday in Halle.

The 20-year-old upset sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 7-6(0) to reach the second round of the NOVENTI OPEN. Korda had never previously played a tour-level match on the surface.

"In the biggest moments I saved a lot of break points, stayed super calm and I never really backed off," Korda said in his on-court interview. "I kept moving forward, kept going to net and kept doing my thing."

Korda looked comfortable despite his lack of experience on this surface. The World No. 52 credited that to a training block with his fitness trainer ahead of this tournament.

"We were on some soccer fields moving around and just getting the feel for things," Korda said. "I think the grass really suits my game. I'm a big hitter, I try to come into net and be aggressive."

Bautista Agut, who returned to the Top 10 this week for the first time since September at World No. 10, made the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2019. But Korda took the action to the Spaniard and saved seen of the nine break points he faced.

"I stuck to my game plan," Korda said. "I played aggressively and I just really enjoyed myself today."

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The American will next play former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori or Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis.

In other action, Frenchman Corentin Moutet advanced past seventh seed David Goffin. Moutet levelled the match at 1-6, 7-5 when Goffin retired. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up slipped during a point early in the second set. Although Goffin completed the set, he was unable to continue after that.

American qualifier Marcos Giron moved on with a 7-6(4), 7-6(6) victory against Canadian Vasek Pospisil. Giron will play top seed Daniil Medvedev or big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff yet.

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