Memphis - Marin Cilic struggled early before
finding his rhythm as the top seed ground out a 4-6 6-2 6-3 victory over
friend and Croatian compatriot Ivan Dodig in the first round of the
Memphis International on Monday.
The top seed is bidding for a
second successive title after winning in Zagreb last week and opened his
campaign against a familiar foe in Dodig, the pair growing up in the
same neighbourhood and often practicing together.
well against the world number 12 but was unable to maintain his form and
intensity once Cilic improved his serving after dropping the opening
Cilic was the only seeded men's player to take to the court
on a quiet day with third and fourth-seeded John Isner and Sam Querrey
scheduled to open their campaigns on Tuesday.
Aside from Cilic,
American Rhyne Williams beat countryman Steve Johnson 7-6 6-4 while
Poland's Lukasz Kubot outlasted another American, Ryan Harrison, 6-4 6-7
In the women's draw, the top two seeds, Kirsten Flipkens
and Sofia Arvidsson, eased into the second round with straight-sets
In the day's final match, eighth-seeded Frenchwoman
Kristina Mladenovic needed less than an hour to dispatch American
Courtney Collins 6-3 6-1.