Rune Rolls Past Garin In Belgrade

#NextGenATP continues hot streak with upset of fifth seed

At his best, Cristian Garin is one of the best clay-court players on the ATP Tour, but Holger Rune dominated the Chilean on Monday.

The #NextGenATP star from Denmark eliminated the fifth seed 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and 25 minutes to reach the second round of the Serbia Open in Belgrade. The 18-year-old will next play home favourite Dusan Lajovic or Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel.

"I'm feeling good. It was obviously a difficult first round playing the fifth seed here and he's been doing really well on clay, his favourite surface. We all know he can be dangerous there," Rune said. "But Ia think I did well. I was prepared [from] the first point, played, took my chances and I'm very happy with [my] first victory here."

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The victory continued a hot streak for Rune, who earlier this month won the Sanremo Challenger and qualified for the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, where he upset Aslan Karatsev in the first round.

Rune put constant pressure on Garin, earning 17 break points and converting six of them. The teen, who is at a career-high No. 72 in the ATP Rankings, won 58 per cent of his return points on his Belgrade debut.

In other action, sixth seed Fabio Fognini rallied past fellow Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-2. Cecchinato is a clay-court standout who reached the Roland Garros semi-finals in 2018, but Fognini was able to emerge victorious behind seven service breaks after two hours and 40 minutes.

The 34-year-old will next play Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, who clawed past Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 after two hours and 38 minutes.

Home favourite Miomir Kecmanovic maintained his good form with a 6-0, 6-3 win against former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet. The Serbian is now 18-7 on the year and will try to improve that record against former World No. 3 Dominic Thiem or Australian John Millman.

Did You Know?
Entering their clash on Monday, Garin had the same number of clay-court ATP Tour titles (5) as Rune had tour-level match wins on the surface.

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