Australian Marinko Matosevic produced the shock of the first day of the Austrian Open on Monday when he beat Dutch sixth seed Robin Haase 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Matosevic’s world ranking of 55 is the best of his career and the 27-year-old Australian showed he means to hold onto it in his victory featuring five aces and four breaks of serve in 97 minutes.
Gilles Muller of Luxembourg staged a fightback to overcome Belgium’s Steve Darcis 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-3, with the winner firing down 16 aces, but needing almost two-and-a-half hours to advance.
Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, the top seed, is making a reappearance after a month out with a left-wrist injury, last playing in a Davis Cup semi-final loss to the Czech Republic in Buenos Aires.
The Argentine is fighting this week for one of the three remaining spots at the ATP World Tour Finals, which wrap up the season from Nov. 5 in London.
Del Potro lost the Vienna final last year to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and he will hope to go a step further this week to help his cause. The provisional No. 7 is expected to duel with No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic.
On Monday, Spain’s David Ferrer claimed the fifth place behind Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.
Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny advanced to the second round of the Stockholm Open on Monday with straight-set wins.
Nieminen, who lost last year’s final to Gael Monfils of France, was down 4-2 in the second set, but recovered to win the match 6-3, 6-4.
“I lost focus and made some simple mistakes, but then I woke up and started playing more aggressive,” Niemenen said.
Earlier, Youzhny beat Brian Baker of the US 6-3, 6-1.