Fifth-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland survived three match points before pulling out a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 win over Great Britain’s Daniel Evans on Monday in the first round of the St. Petersburg (Russia) Open.
Evans served for the match at 6-3, 6-5 and was up 40-0 in the game before Wawrinka won the next five points in a row. The streak continued when Wawrinka captured the first four points of the tiebreaker, and Wawrinka went on to level the match.
Evans attempted to rebound, breaking serve to open the third set, but he lost his first two service games in the set. Wawrinka served for the match at 6-5, but Evans broke to extend matters. Another Wawrinka break finally ended the contest.
The only other seeded player in action lost Monday, as Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie upset eighth-seeded Taylor Fritz of the United States 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik and Russian wild-card entrants Evgeny Donskoy and Aslan Karatsev also earned opening-round wins.
Qualifier Oscar Otte knocked out seventh-seeded Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-3 in an all-German matchup during the first round at Cologne, Germany.
Struff struggled with his serve throughout the match, putting just 45 percent of his first serves in play and recording just one ace while hitting five double faults.
Steve Johnson also notched a first-round upset, rallying past fifth-seeded Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Johnson prevailed despite having just three break points to Krajinovic’s nine. Also advancing were sixth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, Dennis Novak of Austria, Radu Albot of Moldova and German wild-card entrant Mischa Zverev.
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Italian wild-card entrant Lorenzo Musetti topped eighth-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 7-6 (4), 7-5 in opening-round action at Santa Margherita di Pula, Sardinia.
Musetti, 18, advances to oppose Italian qualifier Andrea Pellegrino, 23, who moved on when Italian opponent Stefano Travaglia retired while trailing 5-6, 7-6 (7), 3-0. In a bizarre ending, Travaglia hit his last two serves underhand for a double fault, then called for a physiotherapist and halted the match.
Seventh-seeded Tommy Paul of the United States won his opener, as did Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic.
--Field Level Media
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