Eighth seed Sebastian Korda got off to a winning start on his St. Petersburg Open debut on Monday. The #NextGenATP American hit 11 aces in recording his 25th match win of the season with a hard-fought 7-6(2), 7-5 victory over Croatian wild card Nino Serdarusic in one hour and 43 minutes.
Korda, who will compete at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan from 9-13 November, will next play a qualifier: Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp or Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan. Korda captured his first ATP Tour title at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma (d. Cecchinato) in May. He also finished as runner-up at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com (l. to Hurkacz) in January.
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Elsewhere, Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff recovered from 2-5 down in the first set to defeat James Duckworth of Australia. This year’s BMW Open finalist, who is attempting to finish in the Top 50 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the third straight year, struck 10 aces and won 29 of 36 first-service points. Struff will next challenge seventh-seeded Kazahstani Alexander Bublik.
Despite the volatility of 12 aces and 10 double faults, Bublik defeated Russian World No. 304 Evgenii Tiurnev 6-3, 6-4 by winning 28 of 30 first-serve points.