Van Assche Digs Deep For Maiden Grass Win In Eastbourne

  • Posted: Jun 26, 2023

Van Assche Digs Deep For Maiden Grass Win In Eastbourne

Kecmanovic, Huesler also advance at ATP 250

Luca Van Assche’s first tour-level win on grass was a memorable one.

The #NextGenATP Frenchman prevailed 2-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4) in a thrilling first-round encounter against home wild card George Loffhagen on Monday at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne.

In the second set, Van Assche twice broke Loffhagen when the Briton was serving for the match. In the decider, the 19-year-old qualifier rallied from 1-3 before winning his second tie-break of the match for a see-saw two-hour, 56-minute victory.

Van Assche, who has claimed his first four tour-level victories this year and also won ATP Challenger Tour titles on hard courts and clay, is sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Next Gen Race. In the second round he will take on J.J. Wolf, who defeated sixth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-2, 6-4 earlier in the day for his own maiden tour-level win on grass.

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Eighth seed Miomir Kecmanovic also advanced to the second round on Monday, when the Serbian edged Wu Yibing 7-6(4), 7-6(5) on his Eastbourne debut. The World No. 41 next faces a maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head clash against Aleksandar Vukic, who also held his tie-break nerve to overcome Brandon Nakashima 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 7-6(5).

In the final match of the day, Marc-Andrea Huesler dashed home favourite Ryan Peniston’s hopes of another dream run in Eastbourne. The World No. 83 Huesler downed 2022 quarter-finalist Peniston 6-3, 6-2 to book a second round meeting with fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo.

Gregoire Barrere and Sebastian Baez also claimed opening wins on the Eastbourne grass. Barrere defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4) to set a second-round showdown with Nicolas Jarry. Baez prevailed 6-3, 6-4 against Nuno Borges and will next play second seed Tommy Paul.

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