Third seed David Ferrer (Player Profile) got off to a flying start of the first round encounter at the China Open in Beijing as he broke Canadian Vasek Pospisil (Player Profile) a couple of times by 4-1 in the opener, but was eventually stretched to three sets by his opponent. Whilst the Spaniard managed to close out the first set backed with a one break advantage, it was 40th-ranked who Pospisil who converted the single break point of the second set to upset the favorite. The players were not about to surrender any of their serves in the final set, so the tie-break showdown followed. The Canadian number two acquired the initial mini-break in the thirteenth game, yet his esteemed rival turned it around to avoid the first round exit. He squeezed through to the last 16 with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) victory. His next challenger will be Australian Marinko Matosevic who eliminated last week’s Malaysian Open finalist Julien Benneteau by winning 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Also through to the second round is fifth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet (Player Profile) – he took out Germany’s Florian Mayer (Player Profile) after claiming the only break of the set number one and finishing off his rival by clinching the second-set tie-break. Gasquet won 6-3, 7-6 (2) and will square off against Australian Bernard Tomic in round two.
Eighth seed John Isner (Player Profile) needed three sets and almost two hours to get the better off 243rd-ranked domestic player Di Wu (Player Profile). The American took the first set just before it would go to the tie-break, whilst the second one progressed with serve all the way until the thirteenth game – the Chinese showed no nerves and succeeded to make it one set each. In the decider, big-serving Isner first wasted a couple of break points in the second game before finally breaking the opponent to make it 5-3. He served out the match confidently to win 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-3, smashing 23 aces to Wu’s 4 along the way. He will face Roberto Bautista Agut in the following round.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” said Isner after winning for the 200th time in his career. “It’s a case where I’ve been off for four weeks with no match. I definitely enjoyed my time off, but at the same time, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Those are matches that for me, after a long lay-off, I need to get through. Winning a tight match like that, a match that I could have lost, it’ll serve me well for the rest of this tournament and in Shanghai next week.”