Sousa slips up, home stars shine in Moscow

Getty Images

Joao Sousa was a surprise early casualty at the ATP Kremlin Cup, but home favourites Andrey Kuznetsov and Teymuraz Gabashvili wasted little time in booking their spots in round two on Monday.

Seventh seed Sousa is ranked some 50 spots above his first-round opponent Daniel Gimeno-Traver, but the Portuguese slipped to a 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 7-5 defeat in Moscow.

Gimeno-Traver survived facing break point in a crucial game 11 of the third set, before winning the only break of the decider in the next game to seal his progression.

Russian Kuznetsov faced no such problems against Radu Albot, coming through 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 18 minutes.

Gabashvili - ranked 57th - was facing world number 443 Cem Ilkel and the gulf in class was evident from the outset as he triumphed 6-2 6-1.