SOFIA, February 8, 2017
Defending champion Roberto Bautista-Agut won his opening match the Garanti Koza Sofia Open on Wednesday evening. The fourth seed from Spain defeated German qualifier Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 7-6, 6-3.
Bautista-Agut won 79 per cent of his first service points and converted two of his eight break point chances to seal victory in one hour and 35 minutes.
“I think I played very good tennis. I competed very well and I’m happy because it was a really great opponent today,” Bautista Agut said. Next up for the Spaniard will either Gilles Muller of Luxembourg or Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny.
Second favourite David Goffin also made winning start into the tournament. The World No. 11 from Belgium sent down 11 aces, winning 57 per cent of the total points played to overcome Radu Albot 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 in one hour and 57 minutes. Goffin awaits the winner of the encounter between fellow countryman Steve Darcis and Italian Andreas Seppi in the quarterfinals.
In the remaining first round matches, Nikoloz Basilashvili set a second round clash with the tournament’s number one Dominic Thiem. In the pair’s first tour meeting, the 24-year-old from Georgia edged past Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who captured his second ATP Challenger title of the season in Quimper last Sunday, winning 7-6, 7-6 in one hour and 34 minutes.
German qualifier Daniel Brands continued his successful run, battling past Marco Chiudinelli from Switzerland 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 after two hours and 14 minutes. Brands will next play eigth seeded Slovakian Martin Klizan.
Last year’s runner-up Viktor Troicki cruised past Turkish wild card Cem Ilkel 6-3, 6-2 in only 50 minutes to meet Robin Haase from the Netherlands next and Jerzy Janowicz will be the opening opponent for local favourite Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday. The 26-year-old from Poland beat Dudi Sela of Israel 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and five minutes.