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Rotterdam Open: Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin advance to second round with straight sets wins

Rotterdam: Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin, the duo who faced off in last year's season-ending ATP Finals, both advanced at the Rotterdam Open on Wednesday with straight-sets wins.

File image of Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov. AP

File image of Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov. AP

Second seed Dimitrov, who beat Belgian fourth seed Goffin in the London final last November, had to fight back in the second set to defeat Japan's Yuichi Sugita 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in their first-round encounter.

Goffin made light work of veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, cruising through 6-1, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals in his second match of the week.

Dimitrov won the opening set against Sugita but fell behind a break in the second before levelling for 5-all.

As the set went into a tie-break, the Bulgarian surged ahead as he took a 5-2 lead but had to hold off his opponent as Sugita clawed back to within a point of levelling.

But Dimitrov then sent a forehand into the corner to earn a pair of match points and advanced on his second with a service winner to end the resistance of the 41st-ranked Sugita.

Last week's Montpellier champion Lucas Pouille exited in his opening match, losing 7-5, 6-4 to Andrey Rublev.

The Russian was joined in the second round at the Ahoy Arena by Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, who advanced after just 15 minutes when compatriot Richard Gasquet, the Montpellier finalist, retired with a groin injury trailing 3-1.

Top seed Roger Federer is expected on court later on Wednesday as he launches his bid for a return to the world's number one ranking against Belgian Ruben Bemelmans in a first-time meeting.

The 36-year-old Federer could become the oldest man by three years to hold the number one spot if he reaches the semi-finals at an event he has won twice.

Pouille lost in 93 minutes, hitting a dozen aces in defeat but losing serve four times.

The 34th-ranked Rublev owns his only career title from Umag last summer on clay. Herbert will play Russian Daniil Medvedev in the second round.

Robin Haase won an all-Dutch affair over Thiemo de Bakker 6-2, 6-2.


Published Date: Feb 14, 2018 22:42 PM | Updated Date: Feb 14, 2018 22:42 PM

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