© VTB Kremlin Cup

Miomir Kecmanovic is making his debut at the VTB Kremlin Cup this year.

Kecmanovic Claims Debut Win In Moscow

Rublev battles past Bublik

Miomir Kecmanovic marked his VTB Kremlin Cup debut with a victory on Tuesday, beating Russian qualifier Artem Dubrivnyy 6-1, 7-5.

The eighth seed converted six of nine break points throughout the 72-minute clash to record his 22nd win in 40 tour-level encounters this year. Kecmanovic, who reached his maiden ATP Tour final in Antalya in June, will face Jeremy Chardy in the second round.

Making his first appearance at this event since reaching the semi-finals in 2011, Chardy won 90 per cent of first-serve points (27/30) en route to a 6-4, 6-2 win against Nicolas Jarry. The Frenchman owns a 6-3 record at this ATP 250 tournament. 

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Home favourite Andrey Rublev edged Alexander Bublik 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 to record his first victory at the ATP 250 event. The sixth seed, who entered the match with a 0-4 record in Moscow, broke serve on five occasions and withstood 16 aces to overcome the Chengdu runner-up after one hour and 32 minutes.

Rublev said, “There was only one thought: ‘At long last!’. What a load off [my mind]… The match was difficult, because you play at home, plus there was that thought in my head haunting me - that ‘I have never won in the first round in six years in Moscow’. It made it even harder.”

Two-time semi-finalist Ivo Karlovic saved one match point to beat Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(6). The first-round encounter featured 58 aces and lasted two hours and 11 minutes, with Karlovic claiming three straight points from 5/6 down in the final-set tie-break to advance. The 40-year-old Croatian will face countryman Marin Cilic for a place in the quarter-finals.

Mikhail Kukushkin defeated Moscow’s Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-3. The 2013 runner-up won 75 per cent of second-serve return points (15/20) to book a second-round clash against seventh seed Adrian Mannarino.

In the bottom quarter of the draw, Roberto Carballes Baena and Philipp Kohlschreiber both earned first-round wins. Carballes Baena defeated Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, while Kohlschreiber moved past Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3, 7-6(3).

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