Former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson got off to a winning start in his 2021 ATP Tour season opener on Monday at the Great Ocean Road Open. The 34-year-old Anderson fired 17 aces past No. 16 seed Feliciano Lopez, breaking once in each set, for a 6-4, 7-5 victory in 90 minutes.
The South African won 40 of 46 first-service points and saved all three break points he faced against 39-year-old Lopez. Anderson now plays Bolivian Hugo Dellien or Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany in the second round.
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Elsewhere, Slovenian No. 13 seed Aljaz Bedene recovered from a 1-4 deficit in the first set and edged past Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan 7-6(5), 7-6(5) in just under two hours. Bedene awaits the winner between South Korean alternate Ji Sung Nam and wild card Dane Sweeny of Australia.
South Korean Soonwoo Kwon held his nerve to overcome Andrej Martin of the Slovak Republic 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(4) in two hours and 38 minutes for a second-round clash against seventh-seeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.
David Goffin, Karen Khachanov, Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner headline the ATP 250 tournament field at Melbourne Park.