Bedene Beats Copil In Budapest For Third Time In Two Years
Lucky loser Cecchinato downs Sofia champion Basic
Bedene beat Copil Monday at the Gazprom Hungarian Open for the third time in the tournament's two years of existence 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-3. Last year, Bedene defeated the Romanian in the final round of qualifying and the first round of the main draw (Copil was a lucky loser) en route to his second ATP World Tour final (l. to Pouille).
The World No. 57, who saved all three break points held against him in the opener, will look to continue what has been a strong start to his clay season. The 28-year-old made his third final in Buenos Aires, the quarter-finals in Rio de Janeiro and won a match at last week's Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters before losing to 11-time champion Rafael Nadal. He will next face qualifier Matteo Berrettini or Hungarian wild card Attila Balazs.
In other action, Italian Marco Cecchinato took full advantage of his lucky loser opportunity, defeating Diema Xtra Sofia Open champion Mirza Basic 6-3, 6-4. Cecchinato had lost all three of his previous encounters against Basic below tour-level, but broke the 26-year-old three times en route to just his second victory on the ATP World Tour in 2018.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed success on the ATP Challenger Tour this season, winning 12 of his 16 matches including a title run in Santiago. He will next face second seed Damir Dzumhur for a place in the third round.
Australian John Millman also secured a first-round win, beating Moldovan Radu Albot 6-4, 7-5. The World No. 94 lost just nine points behind his first serve throughout the one-hour, 43-minute encounter to book a meeting with 2017 champion and top seed Lucas Pouille.
In doubles, Ben McLachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff combined for the third time this season to beat Hans Podlipnik-Castillo and Andrei Vasilevski 7-6(5), 6-1. The No. 2 seeds, McLachlan and Struff, are now 8-2 in 2018, having reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and the Miami Open presented by Itaú.