Lu Battles Past Khachanov, Saves 2 M.P.
Baghdatis advances to second round
Yen-Hsun Lu held his nerve to beat #NextGen ATP star Karen Khachanov, who recovered from a 3-5 deficit in the deciding set and held two match points, in a thrilling 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(9) victory on Tuesday at the ASB Classic. Lu, the 2014 finalist, could not convert two match point opportunities at 5-4 in the third set, and at 6/5 and 8/7 in the tie-break. He saved match points at 6/7 and 8/9 before completing a memorable win, over two hours and 39 minutes, with a forehand winner. He will next play seventh seed Steve Johnson.
Joao Sousa started his 2017 with a 6-1, 7-5 victory against fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Sousa won 55 per cent of his second-serve points in the 88-minute win. He'll next meet 27-year-old qualifier Brydan Klein, who saved one match point to outlast Facundo Bagnis 6-1, 6-7(6), 7-6(3). Klein could not convert four match point opportunities at 6/2 in the second set tie-break, while Bagnis held one match point chance at 5-3 in the deciding set.
Eighth seed Marcos Baghdatis, in his third appearance in Auckland, will hope to improve on his 3-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against wild card Dustin Brown in the second round after he beat 2015 finalist Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-4. Jeremy Chardy won the final match of the day 6-4, 6-2 over local wild card Artem Sitak and now challenges sixth seed Feliciano Lopez. Chardy and fellow Frenchman Fabrice Martin won the Qatar ExxonMobil Open doubles title last week.
Matkowski/Qureshi Reach Doubles QFs
Fourth seeds Marcin Matkowski and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi lost just three of their first service points and struck eight aces past Ryan Harrison and John Isner in a 7-6(4), 6-1 victory over 67 minutes for a place in the last eight.
Bagnis and Diego Schwartzman edged past Ramos-Vinolas and Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-7(5), 10-7 in one hour and 52 minutes. The Argentines could not convert one match point chance – on a deciding point at 5-4 in the second set and then minutes later saw a 5/3 lead vanish in the subsequent tie-break.