MANACOR, August 29, 2018
Nicola Kuhn and James Ward headlined first round action at the Rafa Nadal Open Banc Sabadell with a big fight on Center Court on Wednesday afternoon. The Spanish teenager emerged victorious 6-7(6), 7-6(2), 7-6(4).
Kuhn was also in command in the tie-break of the first set, leading 5-1 but Ward rallied back and took the opener 8-6. The 18-year-old Spaniard, who entered the main draw with a wild card and was supported by his new coach Ivan Navarro in his corner, showed some fighting spirit and prevailed after three hours and six minutes.
— Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar (@rnadalacademy) 29. August 2018
Kuhn will face Ramkunar Ramanathan in the second round. The No. 3 seed from India edged past French qualifier Enzo Couacaud 6-3, 7-6(3) in one hour and 16 minutes.
The final match of the day took place under the lights at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor with Bernard Tomic stepping into action. The 25-year-old Australian lost to his buddy and compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round of the qualifying at the US Open and is playing his first ATP Challenger Tour event since finishing runner-up to John Millman at Aix-en-Provence in May last year.
Tomic remained untroubled in his first round match, winning 6-1, 6-2 against Mario Vilella Martínez of Spain. The World No. 152 struck seven aces and broke his opponent four times to advance in only 56 minutes. Tomic will next face Pedro Cachín of Argentina.
Top seed in straight sets
Earlier in the day, top seed Thomas Fabbiano of Italy opened his title bid with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Dutch qualifier Tim van Rijthoven. The World No. 110 saved all six break points he faced, capitalizing on two of his own to advance in one hour and 29 minutes.
Up next for Fabbiano will be Oscar Otte of Germany, who beat Tallon Griekspoor from the Netherlands 6-4, 7-6(2). The encounter lasted one hour and 27 minutes.