Alex de Minaur defeated Miomir Kecmanovic at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals. But Kecmanovic got his revenge on Monday evening at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC, rallying past the Aussie 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 59 minutes to reach the second round.
Kecmanovic, the World No. 50, is just three spots off his career-high FedEx ATP Ranking. The 20-year-old has enjoyed a strong start to the season, reaching the semi-finals at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and the New York Open.
Watch De Minaur Hot Shot:
Kecmanovic made it clear from early in the match that he wanted to control play against the speedy De Minaur. But at first, the Aussie had the answer for Kecmanovic’s aggression from the baseline, winning 71 per cent of his second-serve return points in the first set.
The Serbian did not back down, though, saving all eight break points he faced in the final two sets to triumph. This was De Minaur’s first match since pushing Rafael Nadal to three sets in the semi-finals of the ATP Cup in Sydney. Kecmanovic will next play top-seeded Nadal or his fellow Spaniard, Pablo Andujar.
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Tommy Paul won an all-American battle against Mackenzie McDonald 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 to set a potential clash against second seed Alexander Zverev, who opens against qualifier Jason Jung. Paul is at a career-best World No. 66.
Frenchman Adrian Mannarino also advanced, ousting wild card Cameron Norrie 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. The lefty will next play seventh seed and 2014 champion Grigor Dimitrov or qualifier Damir Dzumhur.