Grigor Dimitrov got his 2016 off to a good start as he fought out a tough win against fifth seed Gilles Simon in the first round of the Brisbane International on Monday.
The Bulgarian was forced to work hard for his victory and squandered numerous match points but eventually came through in straight sets after a monster second-set tiebreak.
In the women’s draw, sixth seed Carla Suarez Navarro came through her opening round with ease, as did former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.
Here are all the results from Monday, the latest schedule and a round-up of the day’s action:
|First Round||Grigor Dimitrov bt. (5) Gilles Simon||6-3, 7-6(10)|
|First Round||Tobias Kamke bt. Benjamin Mitchell||6-2, 6-4|
|First Round||Denis Kudla bt. John-Patrick Smith||4-6, 6-3, 6-2|
|First Round||Hyeon Chung bt. Sam Groth||7-6(8), 6-4|
|First Round||(8) Roberta Vinci bt. Jelena Jankovic||3-6, 6-2, 6-4|
|First Round||Samantha Crawford bt. Priscilla Hon||6-4, 6-4|
|First Round||(7) Belinda Bencic bt. Sara Errani||6-1, 6-2|
|First Round||Madison Brengle bt. Kateryna Bondarenko||6-4, 4-6, 6-4|
|First Round||(4) Angelique Kerber bt. Camila Giorgi||5-7, 6-3, 6-0|
|First Round||(6) Carla Suarez Navarro bt. Ajla Tomljanovic||6-1, 6-2|
|First Round||Sam Stosur bt. Jana Cepelova||6-4, 3-6, 6-4|
|First Round||Victoria Azarenka bt. Elena Vesnina||6-2, 6-0|
Full draw and schedule available at Brisbane International website.
Matt Roberts/Getty Images
Dimitrov got off to a good start as he claimed the key break to take the opening set 6-3.
Having saved three break points in the opener, the world No. 28 then saved a further three in the second as he and Simon exchanged single breaks to move into a second-set tiebreak.
Neither player could open up a significant advantage, and the Frenchman saved five match points to keep his chances alive.
However, Simon double faulted at 10-10, and Dimitrov finally found the killer blow to claim the match in just over two hours and get the year off to a flying start, per the New York Times‘ Ben Rothenberg:
After disappointing 2015, a solid win for Grigor Dimitrov to start his 2016, ousting No5 seed Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-6(10) in Brisbane R1.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 4, 2016
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, it wasn’t the best of days for the local players.
Australian trio John-Patrick Smith, Benjamin Mitchell and Sam Groth lost to Denis Kudla, Tobias Kamke, and Hyeon Chung respectively.
Smith at least claimed a set but could not take the decider against his American opponent.
SAEED KHAN/Getty Images
The women’s matches on Monday were short on shocks as all the seeds involved booked their places in the second round.
Suarez Navarro lost just three games against Ajla Tomljanovic, while Belinda Bencic, the seventh seed, thrashed Sara Errani 6-1, 6-2.
U.S. Open runner-up Roberta Vinci saw off Jelena Jankovic in three sets having lost the opener, and Angelique Kerber eventually beat Camila Giorgi.
The German fourth seed surprisingly lost the first set 7-5 but came storming back to eventually take the match in 127 minutes, per tennis writer Chris Goldsmith:
Angelique Kerber 5-7 6-3 6-0 win over Camila Giorgi in WTA Brisbane, losing only 3 points on serve in 3rd set. Only 4 doubles from Camila
— Chris Goldsmith (@TheTennisTalker) January 4, 2016
Australia’s Sam Stosur came through in three sets against Jana Cepelova in the city of her birth, while Azarenka saw off the challenge of Elena Vesnina in less than an hour and a half in the Pat Rafter Arena.
Maria Sharapova’s first-round clash with fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova is the headline match in Tuesday’s schedule as the defending champion looks to add a second Brisbane title to her career haul.