Lorenzo Musetti enjoyed a winning start at the ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan after seeing off Tseng Chun-hsin in straight sets on Tuesday.
The highest seed at the tournament after Holger Rune’s withdrawal, world number 23 Musetti eased to a 4-2 4-2 4-2 victory in just 70 minutes at the Allianz Cloud Arena.
The home favourite is making his second appearance at the event and arrives after an impressive year on the ATP Tour that yielded titles in Hamburg and Naples.
“It was really nice,” Musetti said during his on-court interview. “I remember playing here from last year. The crowd here is really amazing. They gave me extra energy. I am pretty confident and happy with the win.”
Elsewhere in Red Group, third seed Jack Draper was beaten 4-3 (7-5) 4-3 (7-5) 4-3 (7-5) by Dominic Stricker, who became the first player in Next Gen Finals history to win three successive tie-breaks.
Ranked 111th, the Swiss debutant hit 14 aces on the way to overcoming the world number 41.
Meanwhile, in Green Group, San Diego champion Brandon Nakashima prevailed in an epic five-set thriller against Matteo Arnaldi 2-4 4-3 (9-7) 4-3 (7-4) 3-4 (4-7) 4-2.
The fourth seed is aiming to go the extra couple of steps this year, having reached the semi-finals 12 months ago.
“Right from the beginning, it was a lot of critical points, the sets were going by fast, so I just tried to adapt as quick as possible,” Nakashima said. “The tie-breaks, I was kind of lucky to squeeze them out, and today I think it was just all about finding a way out here.
“He’s a super tough opponent, he was playing really well, and it was just some critical points in the end that helped me get over the line.”
The day’s other match saw Jiri Lehecka celebrate his 21st birthday by defeating Francesco Passaro 4-1 4-3 (9-7) 4-1 in just 67 minutes on his debut.