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Ilya Ivashka saves eight break points to make a winning start in Sofia.

Ivashka Outlasts Ymer In Sofia Marathon

Bulgaria's Lazarov earns first win at an ATP Tour event

Ilya Ivashka and Mikael Ymer closed Monday's play at the Sofia Open with the match of the day. After three hours and 22 minutes, Ivashka emerged victorious, 7-6(8), 4-6, 7-5, at the ATP 250 in Bulgaria.

The two men split 10 breaks of serve across 24 combined break points, Ivashka sealing victory by battling through deuce to break in the final game. Both men struggled on serve, posting matching 57 per cent win rates on their deliveries, while Ivashka saved eight of 13 break points.

The World No. 71, who reached the fourth round at the US Open before losing a five-setter to Jannik Sinner, will face third seed and home favourite Grigor Dimitrov in the Sofia second round.

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In other Monday main-draw action, Kamil Majchrzak defeated Ricardas Berankis 7-5, 6-2 and Bulgaria's Alexandar Lazarov downed Czech #NextGenATP star Jiri Lehecka 7-5, 6-3 in front of his home fans.

For Lazarov, the World No. 334, it was his first win at an ATP Tour tournament and his first Top 100 triumph.

"I was waiting a long time for this win," said the Miami-born Bulgarian. "I'm playing this tournament since [2016]. I always dreamed to pass the first round in front of the Bulgarian crowd and I finally made it, so I'm very, very happy.

"It's extra special. I'm a late bloomer, what they call, because I'm 24. But I think that hard work beats talent and I hope I get to realise what I can do."

In the final day of qualifying, top seeds Ugo Humbert, Jan-Lennard Struff and Geoffrey Blancaneaux advanced to the main draw, as did Sweden's Dragos Nicolae Madaras.

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