© Antalya Open

David Goffin saves five match points against doubles partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert in Antalya on Thursday.

No Hard Feelings! Goffin Beats Doubles Partner Herbert, Saves 5 M.P.

Basilashvili works hard in first round

David Goffin got his 2021 ATP Tour campaign off to a memorable start on Thursday at the Antalya Open. The Belgian not only beat his doubles partner this week, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, but did so by saving five match points.

Goffin completed a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 victory, having saved five match points at 4-5 in the second set. He won nine straight games en route to improving to 6-0 against Herbert in their ATP Head2Head series. Goffin now challenges German qualifier Matthias Bachinger or Nicola Kuhn of Spain.

“It’s always great to start the new year with a tough win, saving match points,” Goffin told ATPTour.com. “It was definitely tricky to play Pierre. I’m happy with the way I played, especially after the beginning. I stayed in the match and believed until the end.”

Italian Andrea Arnaboldi served for the match against sixth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili at 5-4 in the second set, only to see the Georgian begin his comeback. The former World No. 16 completed a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over two hours and two minutes.

Basilashvili now faces local wild card Altug Celikbilek, who recorded his first ATP Tour match win since June 2019 after a hard-fought 7-6(7), 7-5 win over Kacper Zuk of Poland in one hour and 49 minutes. Celikbilek saved four set points in the first set at 2-5, 3-5 and then at 6/7 in the tie-break.

Eighth-seeded Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik produced a strong service performance to get his 2021 campaign off to a winning start with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Salvatore Caruso of Italy in 68 minutes. He awaits the winner of France’s Tristan Lamasine and Egor Gerasimov of Belarus.

Elsewhere, Italy’s Stefano Travaglia got the better of seventh-seeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 and now plays Finn Emil Ruusuvuori, who was a 6-3, 7-6(4) winner over Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic.

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