© Peter Staples/ATP World Tour

David Ferrer enjoys a successful start to 2017 in Brisbane.

Ferrer Kicks Off 2017 With Brisbane Victory

Mahut also advances on Monday

Eighth seed David Ferrer opened up his 2017 season in style on Monday at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, putting on an impressive performance to dispatch local favourite Bernard Tomic, 6-3, 7-5.

“My goals this year are to be happy with myself and be focused in every tournament that I play, without pressure,” said Ferrer. “All tennis players have pressure, but at this moment of my career, I need to enjoy these types of matches on Centre Court. I am 34 years old, 35 next month, so I hope I will play a little bit longer."

The World No. 21 will once again have to contend with a pro-Aussie crowd in the second round when he faces wild card Jordan Thompson. The 22-year-old Sydney native, a winner on Sunday over NextGen star and fellow wild card Elias Ymer, is looking to reach his first ATP World Tour quarter-final.

Ferrer stayed on top of Tomic’s serve in the opening set, breaking the Aussie three times and holding the lead throughout. Both players traded routine service holds throughout the second set until the final game of the match, with the Spaniard raising his level to break Tomic and secure victory.

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Great Britain's Kyle Edmund survived a 2 hr., 10 min. battle with fellow Next Gen ATP star Ernesto Escobedo to reach the second round with a 7-6(4), 7-6(6) win. Edmund will play the winner of the all-French first-round match between sixth seed Lucas Pouille and Gilles Simon.

Seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov picked up from where he left off in 2016, defeating American Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-3. The Bulgarian, who cut his Emirates ATP Ranking from 40 during the season to 17 by year's end, will next meet Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. Mahut came out on top in an all-French battle against Stephane Robert, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. He rallied from 1-4 down in the final set to secure the comeback win.

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