Qualifying Day 1 Recap at the Inaugural Istanbul Open ATP
Ahmet Fevzi Guclu for Tennis Atlantic
Today at the inaugural ATP Istanbul Open, the qualifying tournament was started with 16 matches, on 5 different courts.
The star of the day was 3rd seed and rising teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis, who was against Turk Barkin Yalcinkale (a 23 year old futures player) on court 1. With around 50 people in the stands, the Australian started the match with the break, and routined his opponent in two sets, Yalcinkale had no break point chances during the entirety of the match. Kokkinakis seemed motivated, and adjusted to clay well, his forehand was decent throughout the match, but he couldn’t find his first serve often.. He will need to improve in his next round clash against Nikola Mektic.  Kokkinakis def. Yalcinkale 6-1 6-2
The Surprise of the day, and only losing seed was seen in court 2, when World No: 154 Thiemo De Bakker, lost against Italian Roberto Marcora (a 25 year old at a career high ranking of 178). Marcora was able to come back from a bagel set in the opener, and won the second set with great backhands, breaking the Dutchman three times. In the final set, De Bakker lost his temper after losing the 6th game, allowing a break for 2-4. The 8th seed was having a miserable day in Istanbul and threw his rackets to the ground multiple times, mixed in with swearing. Marcora continued his good serving performance and won the match in 1 hour 37 min. He is playing against his countrymen No: 384 Lorenzo Giustino next round. Marcora def.  De Bakker 0-6 6-2 6-3
Next match in court 2, was between 6th seeded Australian John Millman and 31 year old Ukrainian Vadim Aleeksenko. While Aleeksenko was doing nothing special, Millman was obviously a bit conservative, and anyone could tell that it was his first clay match in two years. Alekseenko made some easy errors in 3-4 game, and Australian celebrated with a fist pump. He served out the set in following game. It was all Millman in second set, he raised his level while his opponent struggled to get rhythm on his forehand, and as a result Alekseenko failed win a single game. The match was absolute domination but from the occasional skillful shotmaking by the Australian, it was a bad match tennis wise. Evgeny Donskoy from Russia will be his next opponent.  Millman def. Alekseenko 6-3 6-0
#1 seed Blaz Kavcic played the first match in center court, it was a good display from both players, other being Dragos Dima s (22 year old Romanian futures player). Kavcic played with good intensity, and young Romanian went for his shots, his backhand was also a strong weapon on the day. Kavcic won the first set 6-3, but world no: 540 Dima forced his opponent to make errors, and broke him twice and made it to 3rd set. The final set started even between the two, but Kavcic broke Dima after an amazing passing shot, only to fail to win the following game. Slovenian No: 76 broke again, and was serving for the match at 5-3, but after long rallies 22 year old broke him to 30. After they both won their service games, at the last game of the set, Kavcic played skillful tennis, with great forehands and won the match in his 3rd match point. Regardless that he got the win, Kavcic was far from decent level today on clay,and will be up against Turkish WC Efe Yurtacan tomorrow on court 1.  Kavcic def. Dima 6-3 1-6 7-5
In other results:
Efe Yurtacan d. Andriej Kapas 3-6 6-1 7-6, Philipp Oswald d. Aleksandre Metreveli 6-1 7-5, Michael Venus d. Dimitar Kuzmanov 6-7 6-4 6-4, Teymuraz Gabashvili d. Aldin Setkic 6-2 6-3, Radu Albot d. Altug Celikbilek 6-3 6-4, Evgeny Donskoy d. Benjamin Ballaret 7-5 6-1, Michael Linzer d. Petru-Alexandru Luncanu 7-6 6-3, Marton Fuscovics beat Tuna Altuna 6-0 6-3, Nikola Mektic d. Jurgen Zopp 6-4 6-0, Alexandr Nedovyesov d. Mate Pavic 6-1 6-2, and Fedor Chervyakov d. Sarp Agabigun 6-7 7-5 6-0.