Fourth-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili overcame a first-set loss and survived five match points to beat Jozef Kovalik in the second round on the clay courts of the Sardegna Open on Wednesday in Cagliari, Italy.
Despite trailing 3-0 in the final set, the Georgian eventually dispatched Kovalik 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a match that lasted 2:59.
Basilashvili won the fourth game of the third set and then broke his Slovakian opponent’s serve to get to 2-3, then lost serve and was down 2-4.
He broke Kovalik’s serve again and then won on his own serve to tie 4-4, but Kovalik took the ninth game for a 4-5 advantage. Basilashvili pulled even at 5-5, surviving five match points in a 24-point game. After breaking Kovalik again in the 11th game, Basilashvili cruised without ceding a point in the decisive final game.
In other second-round action, second-seeded American Taylor Fritz beat Slovakia’s Andrej Martin 6-2, 7-6 (4), fifth-seeded German Jan-Lennard Struff beat the United Kingdom’s Liam Broady 6-4, 6-2 and Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene dropped Belarus’ Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Top-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta defeated Spanish countryman Mario Vilella Martinez 7-6 (2), 6-3 in one hour and 38 minutes to reach the quarterfinals in Marbella, Spain.
Carreno Busta, ranked 15th in the world, is looking to win his first tournament on home soil after hoisting four other trophies in his career.
Other second-round winners were seventh-seeded South Korea Soonwoo Kwon, who beat Facundo Bagnis of Argentina 6-1, 6-3; fourth-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain, who got past Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; and Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos, who topped eighth-seeded Argentine Federico Delbonis 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1).
–Field Level Media