Johnson, Lopez Move On In Auckland
Johnson opened up main draw action on Centre Court with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Stephane Robert. The American dropped just three points on his first serve during the match (28/31) and kept Robert on the defense throughout. Next up for Johnson is the winner between #NextGenATP star Karen Khachanov and Yen-Hsun Lu.
Lopez had a more difficult test against wild card and local favourite Michael Venus. The doubles specialist got the crowd involved by grabbing the opening set, but Lopez regrouped to score a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory. The Spaniard next plays the winner between wild card Artem Sitak and Jeremy Chardy.
In other opening-round matches, Robin Haase ended the run of qualifier and local hope Finn Tearney, 6-4, 7-5. The Dutchman will now play third seed David Ferrer, who received an opening-round bye.
Jiri Vesely saved all five break points against him in recording a 6-4, 6-3 win over Horacio Zeballos. Awaiting him in the second round is top seed and defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut, who also received a first-round bye. Bautista Agut leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 2-0, including a first-round win this past season in Auckland.
Malek Jaziri overcame a stern test against Diego Schwartzman, 7-6(1), 6-3, and now faces second seed and two-time Auckland champion John Isner. The American leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0.
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