Australian star Alex de Minaur started his title defence at the Rothesay International with victory on Monday, beating Chilean Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-3 to reach the second round here.
The Australian dropped just one set en route to the crown at the ATP 250 event last season. On Monday, he looked at home on the grass on the English south coast as he cruised to victory. The sixth seed broke Garin four times to advance after 83 minutes, improving to 3-0 in their ATP head-to-head series.
The 23-year-old, who holds a 14-11 record on grass, could next play Lorenzo Sonego, who will start against Australian qualifier James Duckworth on Tuesday, in a rematch of last season’s final.
Meanwhile in another first-round encounter, Maxime Cressy overcame Reilly Opelka 6-3, 6-1 in an-all American battle to advance to the second round on his debut in Eastbourne, according to a report in the ATP website.
The 25-year-old won 92 percent (24/26) of points behind his first delivery as he served and volleyed the fifth seed off the court to move through in 60 minutes.
Cressy, who reached the quarterfinals on the grass in Newport last season, will face Briton Daniel Evans or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the second round.