Winning starts for Dimitrov, Ferrer

Grigor Dimitrov and David Ferrer both kicked off their 2017 campaigns with victories to advance to the second round of the Brisbane International on Monday.

Dimitrov defeated American Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-3 in just one hour and 17 minutes, breaking twice in the first set before responding to an early break from Johnson in the second with two more breaks of his own.

It was his third victory over the American in the last six months.

“That first match is always so hard, I feel,” Dimitrov said. “I had a good offseason, first of all, so I’m just pleased to be back on the court. Obviously the offseason is one of the hardest periods for us because we don’t really compete, but we practice a lot. I was kind of anxious to come out tonight.”

Seventh-seeded Dimitrov moved on to face Nicolas Mahut, who beat Stephane Robert, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Ferrer, meanwhile, made his Brisbane debut with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Bernard Tomic.

“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 day's other winner was British No 2 Kyle Edmund, who edged American qualifier Ernesto Escobedo, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (8-6).