By Xavier Harley-Rudd
Ivan Dodig stunned big serving Uzbek Denis Istomin on Court 3 with a comprehensive 6-3 6-4 success on Tuesday.
The Croatian, who finds grass a chore to ply his trade, arrived at Eastbourne on the back of a 2nd Round defeat at Queen’s to 2013 runner-up Marin Cilic and not expecting to make much of an impact at Devonshire Park.
However, Dodig’s exciting game is suited to the speed of hard courts – highlighted with his shock win over Spaniard Rafael Nadal in Montreal two years ago – and he showed his expertise with a cool display to triumph.
Istomin, famous for his thundering two-handed cross court drives, found himself on the backfoot in what became a baseline battle of attrition and watched by only a handful of spectators.