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Marcos will face a familiar foe in the second round of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships after defeating Marcel Granollers 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 on Tuesday.

 

Marcos extended his run of dominance in first-round matches on hard courts to 14-1 in his last 15 tournaments. He fired five aces and converted four of 11 break chances to prevail, setting a second round meeting against Gilles Muller.

 

Marcos stormed out of the gates in the first set, breaking twice in a row to take the opener 6-1 and he rebounded nicely after dropping serve early in the second and falling behind a break in the third. Down 3-2, Marcos would reel off four straight games to triumph after one hour and 47 minutes.

 

Marcos improved to 8-5 in six appearances in Tokyo, with his best result coming in 2015, when he reached the semifinals. He also improved to 2-1 against Granollers, having met for the first time in six years.

 

In the second round, Marcos will face a familiar foe in Muller. The longtime friends, who were doubles partners at the US Open, have squared off on three previous occasions, with Marcos winning all encounters. They most recently met on the clay of Roland Garros earlier this year.

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