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Tennis: Thiem, Bautista Agut, Nishikori all progress at Halle

Kei Nishikori returns the ball to Matthias Bachingerl during their match at the ATP tennis tournament in Halle, Germany, on June 18, 2018. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

HALLE, Germany (AP) -- Seeded players Dominic Thiem, Roberto Bautista Agut and Kei Nishikori all came through their first-round matches at the Gerry Weber Open on Monday.

The third-seeded Thiem hit 19 aces as he defeated Russian qualifier Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (5), 6-2 for a second-round meeting with Yuichi Sugita. The 52nd-ranked Japanese player defeated German wild card Maximilian Marterer 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.

The fourth-seeded Bautista Agut had little difficulty in beating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-1, and the seventh-seeded Nishikori opened his grass-court campaign by beating qualifier Matthias Bachinger 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Bautista Agut next faces Robin Haase of the Netherlands, who defeated Joao Sousa of Portugal 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

American qualifier Denis Kudla also progressed by beating Lukas Lacko 6-4, 6-4.

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