Top seed Dan Cox staged a remarkable comeback against Myles Orton in his opening match on Court 1 at the Sunderland Tennis Centre.
Cox, world ranked 249, had expected to play fellow Team Gosling player George Coupland, however, after morning practice, Coupland had to unfortunately withdraw having not recovered from a heavy fall during his quarter-final in Glasgow last week.
This opened the door for Myles Orton, who looked on course to cause a major upset after capturing the opening set 64, then holding five match points when leading 6-1 in the 2nd set tie-break.
Cox used every ounce of his experience to somehow win seven points in a row to snatch the second set 76(6), and went on to capture victory from the jaws of defeat taking the final set 6-2.
Big serving qualifier Harry Meehan continued his impressive run in the north-east beating James Marsalek 6-1 6-7(5) 7-6(3), whilst reigning champion Dan Smethurst, seeded seven, won his ninth consecutive match on the centre’s indoor courts with a 6-3 6-3 defeat of Josh Milton, to remain on course for a potential quarter-final clash against second seed Laurynas Grigelis in what would be a repeat of last week’s final in Glasgow.
Other British men to record first round wins were fourth seed Ed Corrie, fifth seed David Rice, Tom Farquharson, and Richard Gabb.
20-year-old Manisha Foster, impressively secured a place in the women’s main draw, with an excellent 7-5 6-1 victory over top seed in qualifying Myrtille Georges, who was a runner-up last week in Glasgow.
Foster, from Birmingham, and based at the Soto Academy in Spain plays Russian Margarita Gasparyan in the main draw on Wednesday.
The women’s main draw will see six top 200 ranked women in action including top seed and British number two Jo Konta up against fellow Brit Jade Windley, whilst fellow Fed Cup team mate and British number four Tara Moore plays seventh seeded Dutch player Richel Hogenkamp.
Yesterday also saw main draw players Tara Moore, Anna Smith, and Canadian number four Gabriela Dabrowski visit Biddock Primary School, which included a mini tennis demo, Q&A session, and a chance for pupils to have a go with the pro’s.
Play starts today at 10am with free entry to spectators, with live scoring on www.lta.org.uk/aegongbpro-series