Pavis shock for Almagro

Croatian qualifier rallies to down Spaniard

Pavis shock for Almagro

Qualifier Ante Pavic of Crotia displayed tremendous variations of pace and game plan to make it to the second round after he rallied from one set down to upset higher ranked Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (1) in the ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament here on Monday.

In an outside court action, John Millman of Australia, ranked 90, put paid to the aspirations of Russian Evgeny Donskoy (ranked 88) with superb exhibition of tennis with a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (6) win.

Later in the day, eight seed Borna Coric of Croatia survived anxious moments before getting the better of a fighting Spaniard Marcel’s Granollers 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 in his first round match.

In the opening singles match of the season, 26-year-old Pavic, ranked 449, lost the first set after being broken in the sixth game.

But, it was a different story in the next two sets as Pavic matched Almagro to the hilt in the second as he sent five booming aces and came up with a better first serve percentage to lead 6-5. He then broke Almagro in the 12th with two break points to level the set score.

The third set also went in the same fashion and the rivals shared 12 games and took the decider to tie break. Pavic raised his game to the peak to lead 6-1 in the tie break and then wrapped up the match with an ace.

In the third match on the centre court, 19-year-old Coric lived up to the expectations with superb display of solid serves. Granollers lost the first set due to too many unforced errors but stepped up his game in the second.

Granollers was looking to claim the first set as Croric put away three easy volleys and most of his forehands were missing the lines.

The decider was fought fiercely by the rivals but Coric held on to close the rallies by rushing to the net for deft placements and led 3-1.

Granollers managed to win the vital fifth but the aggressive Coric had the last laugh in winning the set at 6-4.

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