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David Ferrer fights past Italian qualifier Stefano Travaglia in the first round of the European Open.

Ferrer, Milan Hopefuls Advance In Antwerp

Trio of #NextGenATP players keep their Milan dreams alive

Fifth seed David Ferrer saved a match point and fought for more than two hours and 20 minutes on Tuesday to advance at the European Open. The Spaniard beat 25-year-old Italian Stefano Travaglia 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3) to move into the second round in Antwerp.

Ferrer was down 30/40 while serving at 4-5 in the third set but won three consecutive points to hold. The 35-year-old Ferrer, a titlist in Bastad earlier this year, will next face German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe or Belgian Steve Darcis.

#NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe bolstered his chances of reaching the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals next month in Milan by beating German Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-4. Tiafoe won 47 per cent (28/60) of his return points in the 58-minute victory.

The 19 year old is currently in 10th place in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan. The top seven in the Race will qualify for the eight-player tournament, to be held 7-11 November. The eighth spot is reserved for the winner of an Italian 21-and-under tournament.

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Tiafoe has 662 Race points, 98 behind seventh-placed Hyeon Chung of South Korea. Tiafoe faces top seed David Goffin in the second round. The right-hander held two match points against Goffin in their only prior FedEx Head2Head meeting before losing at 2016 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Two other #NextGenATP players with their hopes set on Milan also advanced in Antwerp. American Ernesto Escobedo, who reached the semi-finals earlier this year in Houston, beat Canada's Denis Shapovalov in a #NextGenATP battle, 7-6(5), 6-4.

#NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas upset sixth seed Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 6-4. Cuevas has now lost nine consecutive matches.

Both Escobedo and Tsitsipas still could qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals. Escobedo is in 11th place with 497 points, 263 behind seventh-placed Chung. Tsitsipas sits in 13th place with 477 points, 283 behind Chung.

Escobedo next faces fourth seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. Tsitsipas will meet Croatian Ivo Karlovic.

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