With the conditions slightly healthier than yesterday, the play started about three hours late. The situation was forecast to improve during the day and therefore the delay was supposed to protect the competitors’ safety. But it started raining heavily in the middle of the day and only sixteen matches were played out with several ones interrupted. All of them were moved to Thursday.
Dennis Novak survived a potentially tricky first round matchup against Dustin Brown. The German missed the past four months with a severe back injury and didn’t pose much of a threat.
Ernesto Escobedo had to survive three match points to beat Mitchell Krueger 2-6 7-6(8) 7-6(7).
The best deaf player in the history of the sport, Duck-Hee Lee took a medical timeout for what looked like cramps in the middle of the deciding tie-break against Alessandro Gianessi. The Korean was visibly hampered but somehow took 9 out of the last ten points to win the tie-breaker 10-7.
Tallon Griekspoor, who finished his season with a great performance against Andy Murray at the Davis Cup Finals, is back in fine form. The Dutchman defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3 6-2.
Hyeon Chung, who reached the semifinals two years ago, had to withdraw from the Australian Open qualifying. He will be replaced by lucky loser Amir Weintraub, who played just four matches in the past three years.
Steve Darcis, possibly playing his last career match, led Eliot Benchetrit 4-2 when the rain came. The Frenchman was more than happy to get off the court as he convinced the chair umpire, Mohamed Lahyani, that the court was already too slippery.
Only six women matches were finished on Wednesday. Australian Kaylah Macphee is close to springing a huge surprise, tied a set all with Greet Minnen.
It will be a busy schedule on Thursday and hopefully the air pollution situation will continue to get better.
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