Tennis: Bautista Agut beats Safiullin in Barcelona

Barcelona, Apr 16 (IANS): Former No. 9 Roberto Bautista Agut downed Roman Safiullin 6-3, 7-6(8) at Barcelona Open for the 399th tour-level triumph of his career. He saved a set point in the second-set tie-break before wrapping a one-hour, 59-minute first-round victory.

The Spaniard, who is chasing his 12th ATP Tour crown this week, will meet seventh seed Karen Khachanov in the second round.

Monday was a memorable day in Barcelona for Nick Hardt. The 23-year-old qualifier overcame home favourite Martin Landaluce 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Pista Rafa Nadal to win his ATP Tour main-draw debut.

Hardt became the first Dominican to win an ATP Tour match since Victor Estrella Burgos in Quito in 2018.

Hardt, who has risen 30 spots to No. 199 in the ATP Live Rankings as a result of his run in Barcelona so far, will take on 13th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry next.

Brandon Nakashima and Harold Mayot also booked their second-round spot on Monday. Nakashima ousted 2023 semi-finalist Daniel Evans 7-6(5), 6-2 to set a meeting with second seed Andrey Rublev, while qualifier Mayot beat Pedro Cachin 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3 to advance to face Cameron Norrie.



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Title: Tennis: Bautista Agut beats Safiullin in Barcelona

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