Despite the support of a sizeable crowd, Jerome Kym (ATP 401) was unable to upset the odds and went down 7-6(2) 6-7(5) 6-4 to Arthur Cazaux (ATP 197). The Swiss player could at least take consolation from playing a full part in the first thriller of the 2023 Gonet Geneva Open, an engrossing match that lasted two hours and 55 minutes.

Kym will be kicking himself, however, having led 0-30 on the Frenchman’s serve at 4-4 in the third set. The all-important break point proved elusive, however, and at 4-5, Cazaux made the most of the home player’s double fault at deuce before hitting a backhand pass down the line to secure victory, the ball clipping the net and then dropping in.

The first round of the qualifying competition provided a fitting start to the tournament. Cazaux will return to the Central at 11:00 on Sunday to fight it out for a place in the main draw with Croatia’s Nino Serdarudic (ATP 305). The first round proper gets under way at 14:00, with Ben Shelton taking on Marco Cecchinato and Benoît Paire facing Christopher Eubanks.

As for the 20-year-old Kym, he has taken an important step forward as he looks to kickstart a career stalled by months of injury problems. Blessed with a fast forehand, he has the means to start climbing the Tour rankings fast and catch up with his compatriots and peers Dominic Stricker and Leandro Riedi.