Acapulco [Mexico], February 22 (ANI): Stefan Kozlov on Monday night overcame severe second-set cramps on his way to winning the longest match in the Mexican Open history after downing 2014 champion Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(8), 5-7, 6-3.
Kozlov had narrowly fallen to Oscar Otte in the final round of qualifying on Sunday, but he took full advantage of Maxime Cressy’s late withdrawal in Mexico to stun the World No. 33 Dimitrov in a three-hour, 21-minute marathon.
Kozlov’s second-round opponent will be either Denis Kudla or his Monday practice partner, fourth seed Rafael Nadal.
Later, Alexander Zverev and Jenson Brooskby capped a remarkable first day of action at the Mexican Open with a three-hour, 18-minute epic played out in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Defending champion Zverev was made to dig deep to save two match points in the second-set tie-break before clinching a 3-6, 7-6(10), 6-2 victory in one of the most exciting matches of 2022 so far.
Earlier in the day, John Isner was on the brink of defeat in Acapulco, but the American served his way out of trouble and into the second round.
The 36-year-old saved a match point at 2-5 in the third set before rallying past Spanish wild card Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(3) after three hours and 14 minutes.
Another American had less difficulty Monday evening. Seventh seed Taylor Fritz defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 33 minutes to set a second-round clash against Spanish wild card Feliciano Lopez or Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka.
Two younger Americans fell short in their openers. Sebastian Korda served for his match against Dusan Lajovic, but the Serbian stormed back for a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory after two hours and 42 minutes. German Peter Gojowczyk, a lucky loser, dismissed Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-4. (ANI)
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Source: The Print