Bolt leads Aussie charge in s-Hertogenbosch
Alex Bolt, Bernard Tomic, Matthew Ebden and Ajla Tomljanovic all advance to the second round in Dutch grass court tournament.
Four Australians advanced in first round action in s-Hertogenbosch overnight, including 25-year-old Alex Bolt who recorded his first ATP World Tour main draw-level victory.
The No.176-ranked South Australian scored an impressive 4-6 7-6(5) 6-2 win over world No.88 Vasek Pospisil in a two hour, three minute battle. Bolt, who qualified for the main draw, hit 11 aces against the former Wimbledon quarterfinalist. It sets up a second round meeting with American wildcard Mackenzie McDonald, who upset eighth seed Andreas Seppi in the opening round.
Fellow qualifier Bernard Tomic also continued his winning run, defeating American lucky loser Kevin King 6-4 6-2. Tomic, who had been scheduled to face former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis before he withdrew with a hamstring injury, now plays Dutch sixth seed Robin Haase in the second round.
Matthew Ebden also advanced against an American lucky loser, defeating Tim Smyczek 6-2 6-3. Ebden faces defending champion Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in the second round.
Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Australia’s John-Patrick Smith, who received a last-minute place in the draw as a lucky loser, 3-6 6-3 6-4 and Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri spoiled Max Purcell’s ATP main draw debut with a 6-2 6-3 win.
Ajla Tomljanovic fared better in women’s singles first round action, recording a 4-6 7-6(3) 6-2 win over big-serving Czech Kristyna Pliskova.
Tomic and Ebden play their second round matches tonight, while 2001 singles champion Lleyton Hewitt will line-up alongside Bolt in a first-round doubles clash against second seeds Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Michael Venus of New Zealand.