ATP

Kubler downs Verdasco in Houston as Johnson and Kudla advance

By Sports Desk April 03, 2023

Sixth seed Jason Kubler made light work of 39-year-old Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the first round of the Houston Open while Americans Steve Johnson and Denis Kudla advanced on Monday.

Kubler and Verdasco endured a 71-minute first-set tussle, which the Australian edged 9-7 in a tie-break before dominating the second frame, dishing out a bagel in 29 minutes to win 7-6 (9-7) 6-0.

World number 71 Kubler progressed to the second round where he will take on Colombia's Daniel Elahi Galan who defeated China's Zhang Zhizhen 6-2 6-3.

Johnson set up a second-round clash with American compatriot and top seed Frances Tiafoe after getting the better of Facundo Bagnis 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 6-1 in one hour and 55 minutes.

USA's Kudla also progressed with a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory over Australia's Aleksandar Vukic in just under two hours.

Dutchman Gijs Brouwer won 6-4 6-4 over Aleksandar Kovacevic, setting up a meeting with big-serving fourth seed John Isner.

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