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He has taken to his No. 1 seeded status with class and panache. “Sascha” Zverev won 6-2 6-1 with ease, in just over an hour against Latvian Ernests Gulbis. Earlier in the day, another winner of the London Masters did not have the same success and left through the back door.

Grigor Dimitrov failed to link the success. After brilliantly coming out of the qualifiers, the Bulgarian, who has just turned 28, did not hold out against the Argentinean clay specialist, Federico Delbonis. He had won the first set 6-1, but did not find the solutions he needed afterwards. Delbonis, who will meet the 2018 finalist Marton Fucsovics in the second round, won 1-6 6-4 6-2.

To start the night session with some delay (the matches lasted longer than expected, to the delight of the audience!), Alexander Zverev was highly anticipated. The world number 5 made short work of his opponent of the day, Ernests Gulbis, pocketing an “easy” win. The 22-year-old German is thrilled to find his bearings in an arena that reminds him of Munich, both in the atmosphere and in the climate.

In other games of the day, Joao Sousa defeated Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer in three sets, 6-2 6-7 6-4. Qualified Damir Dzumhur also continued his fine epic duel by winning a hard fought (6-7 6-4 7-5) against the almost veteran Feliciano Lopez. Finally, to close this long day, the Bolivian Hugo Dellien pocketed his ticket to the quarterfinals against Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 6-3.