He's probably played on Plexicushion before, there's got to be some in Europe so he probably would've trained on it in the past. Besides he didn't do any warmup tournaments, so he's probably been just doing training in Australia this whole time.
IIRC, I've never heard any other ATP tourney outside of Aussie is played on that surface. But yeah, probably some futures or challengers would be. As for the second part, doesn't he have some sort of financial difficulties to spend that much time abroad? Hope you're right though.
He seemed very nervous at the beginning and gets better as the match goes on.
Failed to hold the first game after having a GP(s)
Saved two more break points in the next serve game from 15-40
A long game on return, but no break.
*1-3, match suspended due to rain and the weather forecast doesn't look good.