Sebastian Ofner d Jurij Rodionov 6-3 3-1 (WALKOVER)
In the battle of the Austrians, it was Ofner leading the H2H 2-1. Rodionov has had great year, but did not look like he was showing up on court today. He was inconsistent, and just generally all over the place. It did not look like these two countrymen were friends, because as they finished, it looked like Ofner was questioning him angrily as to why he withdrew. Ofner, being older and boasting more wins H2H likely had the mental battle won even before the match, and Rodionov was not ready for the battle.
Alex Bolt d Andreas Seppi (7) 0-6 6-2 6-3
In a huge momentum shift, a match which saw Bolt crash in the first set, saw the Aussie overpower the Italian with his beautiful left swinging forehand to the Italian's demise. Statistically it was very close, but Bolt just powered over the 37yo in the final two sets. It was warm, and it favoured the Aussie (for his age aswell).
Brandon Nakashima d JJ Wolf 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2
Nakashima is a quieter player compared to the slick mulleted 22yo, who boats speed and power as his main attributes. Nakashima boasts consistency, which in a match tied at one set a piece, proved its worth in the third set over inconsistent powered shots that did work earlier in the match. Nakashima also serving 11 aces to 3, and proving a quality return game.
Evgeny Donskoy d Jason Jung 6-1 6-4
Donskoy was too good for the 32yo in Mexico, serving 10 aces to 1, and converting 4/10 break point opportunities compared to just 1/3 for the Taiwanese world no 159. Donskoy also winning 73% of first serves and 61% on second serves compared to just 61% of first serves and 38% of second serves for Jung.
Denis Kudla d Thanasi Kokkinakis 4-6 7-6(4) 7-6(3)
In a match going 3h 13m, it was the American who hustled incredibly to overcome the Aussie. The Aussie looked the favourite, being used to the warm weather, and having his big serve to win easy points. The Aussie serving 23 aces to 7, and serving 2 less double faults. Kudla just stayed in the point, proving that much like Nakashima, consistency is key. Kokkinakis does not play as regularly as he is injury prone, so consistency is his biggest issue at the moment.
Steve Johnson (6) d Gerardo Lopez Villasenor 7-6(4) 6-2
It was business as usual for the American, sliding through the first set thinly, but creating the gap in the second set. Johnson serving 15 aces to 7, and converting 3/8 break points compared to just 1/3 for the Mexican. Villasenor did well considering his ranking of 654 compared to Johnson's ranking of 83.
Ilya Marchenko d Peter Gojowczyk 6-3 6-2
Marchenko was just too powerful, serving 10 aces to 7, but more importantly winning 93% on first serves and 83% on second serves compared to a poor performance from the German. Gojowczyk only won 6 receiving points from 9 service games, and was just a one sided match completely, with no break point opportunities for the German.
Yasutaka Uchiyama d Alexander Sarkisson 5-7 6-0 6-4
Sarkisson started well, clinching the first set with his only break point of the match. From there it went downhill, with the Jap dominating the second set, and clinching the third set, converting 4/10 break point opportunities. Uchiyama overcoming the American to claim his victory in a convincing comeback.
Ernest Escobedo d Mackenzie McDonald (8) 6-3 6-4
In the match of the day, it was clear Escobedo has stuck in McDonald's head from past experiences. Escobedo now leads the H2H 3-0. He just has this confidence that silences McDonald. They are only a year apart, and am sure played tonnes of matches as juniors growing up, and that can have lasting effects despite current rankings.
Elias Ymer d Matthew Ebden 7-5 6-1
Neither player played superb, but it was Ymer creating and converting his break point opportunities. The Swede converting 6/10 break points compared to just 2/4 for the Aussie. It was a tight first set, but Ymer rode the second set nicely, cruising with momentum in a clean second set.
Emilio Gomez d Nicolas Meja 6-4 6-1
Honestly never heard of these two, but looked up Gomez and he is not bad. There is a lot to like about him, notably his mentality. Gomez serving 8 aces, and winning 81% of first serves. Also making the most of break point opportunities, converting 4/5 break points. Meja did have chances, but he could not convert any of his 3 break points.
Jordan Thompson (5) d Ivo Karlovic 6-4 7-5
Matches like these typically are close and rely on serve % as a big factor to decide points. It was a relatively even serve game, with Karlovic serving 6 more aces than the Aussie (11-5). Karlovic only serving 11 aces is not enough to push the 42yo over the line, with the Aussie pushing the Croat around, and finishing at the net. Karlovic is clearly at the tail-end of his career, and against the 27yo in his physical prime, he can push Karlovic around the court.