Lorenzo Musetti beats qualifier Marc Polmans on Tuesday at Nur-Sultan.

#NextGenATP Musetti, Millman Win In Nur-Sultan

Defending champion Millman through in three sets

#NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti recorded his first ATP Tour indoor match win on Tuesday at the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan.

Musetti knocked out Australian qualifier Marc Polmans 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in two hours and 19 minutes as he continues his push for a spot at the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held in Milan from 9-13 November.

"“It was a really tough match, but I played well," said Musetti. "He was really solid and he was not missing a ball, so it was not easy to [win] the point. In the third set, I broke him in the third game, a really tough game, and that game was a turning point of the match. So I am really happy with the win."

The 19-year-old, who sits in sixth position in the ATP Race To Milan, has reached two ATP Tour semi-finals this year in Acapulco and Lyon (l. to Tsitsipas both times). He’ll next look to improve upon his 0-2 ATP Head2Head record against seventh-seeded Serbian Laslo Djere in the second round.

Watch Tuesday Highlights From Nur-Sultan

Fifth-seeded Australian John Millman bounced back from a 0-2 deficit in the deciding set to overcome Kazakhstani qualifier Dmitry Popko 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes and next challenges Jaume Munar of Spain. Millman beat Adrian Mannarino in last year’s Nur-Sultan final for his first tour-level crown.

"“I am hoping I can build on that match,” said Millman. "It was a little bit scrappy from my end. Credit to my opponent, he came out having played a couple of matches in those conditions and was probably a little bit better from the start. Once I found my feet, I felt a little bit more comfortable.”

Eighth seed Ilya Ivashka will face Kazakhstani wild card Timofey Skatov following a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer in one hour and 36 minutes. Belarusian Ivashka beat Mikael Ymer for his first ATP Tour trophy last month at the Winston-Salem Open, and is now 26-13 on the season.

Elsewhere, another Belarusian, Egor Gerasimov upset sixth-seeded French Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-4 in 83 minutes.

Kazakhstani Pair Reach Quarter-finals

Second seeds Andrey Golubev and ALeksandr Nedovyesov needed five set points in the first set tie-break en route to a 7-6(7), 6-2 first-round victory over Australians James Duckworth and Matthew Ebden. The Kazahstanis now face Czechs Roman Jebavy and Jiri Vesely.

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