FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – Third Round – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 24, 2020 – Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut reacts during the match against Croatia’s Marin Cilic. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
(Reuters) – Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta were taken to three sets in their respective first round encounters of the Rotterdam Open but prevailed on Monday to set up a last-16 clash.
Bautista Agut came back from a set down to beat Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics 4-6 7-6(1) 6-1. Fucsovics was close to claiming the biggest win of his career in the second set before Bautista Agut forced a tiebreak.
The third set was plain sailing for the Spaniard and a double fault at 5-1 gave Bautista Agut a second match point, which he converted with a sliced backhand after an engrossing rally at the net.
Fucsovics hit 40 winners but the 41 unforced errors proved to be his downfall.
“Next round is going to be a Spanish round against Pablo,” Bautista Agut said after the win. “Hopefully one of us can take the title.”
In the other encounter, Carreno Busta needed two hours and 45 minutes to dispatch Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, winning 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4.
Mannarino fired 12 aces but he was wayward with his second serve while Carreno Busta, who had 17 chances to break serve, only managed to do so on four occasions.
On match point in the third, a 20-shot rally was finished by Carreno Busta when he fired a forehand winner to advance and set up a last-16 clash with his compatriot, who has beaten him twice before in three encounters.
Canadian eighth seed Denis Shapovalov is in action later on Monday when he takes on Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov while Briton Dan Evans takes on Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar