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By Alberto Amalfi | Monday, September 30, 2019

 
Lucas Pouille

Fifth-seeded Lucas Pouille did not drop serve sweeping Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-3 and joining Marin Cilic reaching the Tokyo second round.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Seeds Lucas Pouille and Marin Cilic swept through Tokyo openers to set up challenging second rounders.

Pouille denied the only break point he faced in the final game of his 6-4, 6-3 win over Hubert Hurkacz.

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The fifth-seeded Frenchman broke at 15 to snatch the opening set. Pouille scored the lone break of the second set for 5-3 then denied break point to serve it out in one hour, 14 minutes.

It was Pouille's first win in three meetings with the lanky Pole following Hurkacz victories at Masters events in Indian Wells and Madrid. Pouille leveled his record at 19-19 in 2019 setting up a second-round clash vs. Yoshihito Nishioka.

The left-handed Japanese broke serve three times dispatching Joao Sousa 7-5, 6-3. Nishioka served 80 percent and saved two of three break points 

The 24th-ranked Frenchman defeated Nishioka in their lone prior meeting 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 at the 2016 Sydney International.

Sixth-seeded Marin Cilic was a 6-4, 6-4 victor over Japan's Yuichi Sugita.

The 2014 US Open champion takes on former Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung next. 

Chung rallied past Italian Lorenzo Sonego 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Chung, who played through qualifying to reach the US Open third round where he fell to eventual-champion Rafael Nadal, earned his first career Tokyo victory.

The 30th-ranked Cilic has won all six sets he's played vs. Chung.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who spent time training with sumo wrestlers in Tokyo, will open against 94th-ranked Aussie Alexei Popyrin. 


 

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