It was the second day of action at the Grand Prix Hassan II and we had the top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas make his event debut against the home favourite wildcard Amine Ahouda in the second match on Court Central. Unfortunately for the home crowd, it was the Ramos-Vinolas who did not have much trouble with Ahouda on the way to the 6-1, 6-2 win. This wasn’t a fantastic match from Ramos-Vinolas as he was rusty, especially when he was hitting smashes, but he just played his consistent power game from the baseline and managed to get enough big first serves in to get the comfortable win. This was not terrible for Ahouda as at the start of each set he was quite successful as he went toe-to-toe in the rallies but after dropping the first couple of tight games he fell away quickly with weak serves and an abundance of return errors.
It looked like Amine Ahouda could provide a challenge early on as he held to love with big serves and rusty errors from Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the opening game but the top seed replicated with big serves in the next game to hold. The third game was very long and was crucial in the set as Ahouda didn’t play badly but Ramos-Vinolas extended rallies before an untimely double fault cost the home favourite the break. Ahouda also came close in the next game as Ramos-Vinolas didn’t get enough first serves in but after Ahouda missed that opportunity and the top seed took a 3-1 lead, the set went away very quickly. The first serve percentage of Ahouda lessened which let Ramos-Vinolas easily secure the double break and then the Spaniard played a great serving game with two aces to affirm his grip on the opener. When Ahouda was serving to stay in the opening set, he almost looked withdrawn as he started going for way too much on everything and handed away the break and 6-1 set.
It was mature from Amine Ahouda after a dismal end to the opener because he was able to come out for the second set with a relaxed and tactical demeanour. That didn’t show immediately seeing that Ahouda hit too many unforced return errors in the first game to give Albert Ramos-Vinolas the hold to love but in the next game, the wildcard stayed in rallies before stepping in and taking shots down the line when the opportunity came. This continued for a while with Ahouda starting to fire his forehand and getting big first serves in while Ramos-Vinolas continued to push back and attempt to assert authority. It stopped after a few holds were exchanged and Ahouda was serving at 3-2 down and Ramos-Vinolas played a game where he dug his heels in and refused to miss which eventually drew errors from the wildcard and the top seed took a 4-2 lead. There was still fight left from Ahouda as he got some incredible shots back in the next game but he couldn’t maintain it with two return errors following and then Ahouda sunk too many balls into the net to give Ramos-Vinolas the 6-1, 6-2 win with a fifth break of the match.