March 31, 2023

David Goffin earned his first win of the season Monday when he overcame fifth seed Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

The 32-year-old went 0-2 at the inaugural United Cup last week in Perth but responded with a confidence-boosting performance against Bublik, returning with great depth to break the 25-year-old six times en route to his 74-minute win.

“I returned really well,” Goffin said. “We all know how he can serve, it is not easy to return. The key was the return for sure. I tried to stay calm because on my service games, I know how hard he can hit the ball and be aggressive. I stayed calm and that was the key.

“I love the atmosphere on this court, with people having fun. They are having dinner, it is a nice arena and it is fun to play in front of them.”

Goffin, who is making his first appearance at the ATP 250 event since 2013, now leads the Kazakhstani 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series. He will next face 2020 champion Ugo Humbert or American qualifier Christopher Eubanks.

In the first match of the day, Frenchman Constant Lestienne cruised past Argentine Pedro Cachin 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes. The World No. 65 will next play two-time Auckland champion John Isner or French qualifier Gregoire Barrere.

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