© Astana Open

Hubert Hurkacz defeats Francisco Cerundolo in Astana on Monday.

Turin Hopeful Hurkacz Advances In Astana

Mannarino sinks Wawrinka, Bautista Agut upsets Felix

Hubert Hurkacz continued his quest to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday when he moved past Francisco Cerundolo 6-2, 7-6(2) at the Astana Open.

The Pole looked in control throughout the 82-minute first-round clash against Argentine Cerundolo, firing 11 aces and saving the one break point he faced to set up a second-round meeting against Alexander Bublik or Tallon Griekspoor.

Hurkacz is currently ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, just 20 points behind eighth-placed Alexander Zverev, who has been sidelined since Roland Garros due to injury. The 25-year-old made his debut at the prestigious end-of-year event in Turin last season and will be hoping to boost his qualification chances with a deep run in Kazakhstan.

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Roberto Bautista Agut made a winning start on debut in Astana, upsetting eighth-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6(6).

In a hard-fought clash, the Spaniard rallied from a break down in the second set to advance after one hour and 55 minutes. Bautista Agut, who has won tour-level titles in Doha and Kitzbühel this season, has improved to 2-3 in his ATP Head2Head series against Auger-Aliassime and will next play lucky loser Pavel Kotov or countryman Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

“It is my first time here. I played great in these conditions,” Bautista Agut said. “I am very happy to win against a Top 10 player. To beat Felix is not easy. Especially on indoor [courts]. That means I had to play a very good match. I was very solid and also very aggressive and I am very happy.”

Andrey Rublev also advanced, defeating Serbian Laslo Djere 6-4, 6-3 in 71 minutes. The 24-year-old saved all three break points in the first-round match and now leads Djere 3-0 in their ATP Head2Head series. Rublev, currently sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, will next face Zhizhen Zhang after the Chinese qualifier defeated Aslan Karatsev 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

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Adrian Mannarino moved past former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to maintain his impressive record in Astana.

The Frenchman reached the final in his only previous appearance in 2020 and, after a slow start, looked strong at the hard-court event against Wawrinka. The 34-year-old outlasted the Swiss in the baseline exchanges to improve to 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.

Mannarino will next play top seed Carlos Alcaraz or Belgian lucky loser David Goffin.

In other action, Botic van de Zandschulp dispatched Kazakhstan wild card Beibit Zhukzyev 6-1, 6-1.

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