Defending Champ Sugita Moves On In Antalya
The Japanese No. 2, who lifted his maiden ATP World Tour title at the event in 2017, saved nine of ten break points and withstood 13 aces to advance after two hours and two minutes. Sugita, who defeated Dominic Thiem at the Gerry Weber Open last week, improves to 4-2 on grass this season.
"It is a big pressure [to be defending champion]. I want to defend the points and the title, but after [losing] the second set I just wanted to enjoy the tournament because I have good memories here... I am really happy to win today," said Sugita.
Dusan Lajovic needed an hour to book his spot in the second round, defeating Filip Horansky 6-3, 6-3. The eighth seed won 75 per cent of service points and converted three of eight break points. Lajovic will face Nikoloz Basilashvili for a quarter-final spot.
Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis set a meeting with 2017 runner up and top seed Adrian Mannarino after a 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3 victory over Evgeny Donskoy. Berankis saved all five break points he faced and converted each of his three break opportunities to secure a clinical one-hour, 52-minute win.
Did You Know?
Yuichi Sugita won the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open Antalya in 2017. The World No. 45 defeated David Ferrer in the second round before a straight-sets win over Adrian Mannarino in the championship match.