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Millman wins tough opener at Astana

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan (AP) Defending champion John Millman came through a tough first-round match against local qualifier Dmitry Popko at the Astana Open on Tuesday as sixth-seeded Benoit Paire was eliminated in his opening match.

Millman needed 2 hours, 9 minutes to get past Popko 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. Popko was a break up in the decider before Millman recovered to win the match, helped by his opponent's four double-faults in that set alone. The Australian books a second-round match against Spain's Jaume Munar.

Paire was beaten 7-5, 6-4 by Egor Gerasimov despite having been a break up in each set. Gerasimov next plays either Carlos Taberner or Ricardas Berankis.

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