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Nakashima, Fils Earn Opening Wins In Lyon
Brandon Nakashima earned his first tour-level win since March on Monday when he moved past Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 to reach the second round at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon.
The 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals champion has struggled to find his best form this season, falling in the first or second round at all six previous events he has played this year. The eighth-seeded American looked sharp on the clay in Lyon, though, striking his groundstrokes with aggression to advance after two hours and two minutes on tournament debut.
"Against Diego it is never going to be easy," Nakashima said. "I had to fight for every point and I am glad I played well in the important moments and I hope this is a good step in the right direction for me."
After earning his fourth win of the season, Nakashima will next face Arthur Rinderknech after the Frenchman defeated South African qualifier Lloyd Harris 6-4, 6-2.
#NextGenATP Frenchman Arthur Fils defeated China's Zhizhen Zhang 6-3, 6-2 to continue his impressive season.
The 18-year-old had not earned a tour-level win before this year, but his 74-minute victory against Zhang was his seventh win of the season at this level, with the teen overpowering the World No. 70.
Earlier this year, Fils reached semi-finals in Montpellier and Marseille, before he came through qualifying to advance to the second round in Rome. The 18-year-old, who is currently fifth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Next Gen Race, will next play Mikael Ymer or Richard Gasquet.
In other action, fifth seed Miomir Kecmanovic snapped a three-match losing streak when he defeated Spanish lucky loser Oriol Roca Batalla 6-1, 6-3. The Serbian won 83 per cent (20/24) of his first-serve points and did not face a break point to triumph after 74 minutes.
Kecmanovic will next meet Briton Jack Draper. Kecmanovic is chasing his first title of the season this week, having advanced to finals in Delray Beach and Estoril earlier this year.
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