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Jiri Vesely saves one set point at 6/7 in the second set tie-break of his win over Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday in Nur-Sultan.

Vesely Takes His Chances, Beats Sandgren In Nur-Sultan

Gerasimov, Sugita also advance to second round

Czech Jiri Vesely worked hard to break down fifth-seeded American Tennys Sandgren's game on Tuesday for a place in the Astana Open second round.

Vesely saved all five break points he faced and hit nine aces in a 6-4, 7-6(7) victory over one hour and 40 minutes. He saved one set point at 6/7 in the second set tie-break with a big serve. Sandgren won 36 of 43 first-service points overall and hit 13 aces.

“It was a very tough match, as Tennys has had very good results on hard courts,” said Vesely, in an on-court interview. “He was a tough opponent for the first round, but I’ve been feeling good. I just focused on my serve and waited for my chance. The surface is pretty fast, so it’s difficult to return and I waited for one or two chances in the tie-break. I was a little bit lucky at the end.”

The World No. 66 next plays Belarusian Egor Gerasimov, the player he beat 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-3 in the Tata Open Maharashtra final on 9 February. Gerasimov knocked out Lloyd Harris of South Africa 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3) in just over two hours in the Nur-Sultan first round.

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Elsewhere, Japan’s Yuichi Sugita saved seven of 10 break points to beat fellow qualifier Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and seven minutes. He now challenges third-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

Italian wild card Andreas Seppi won the final match of day two, beating qualifier Aslan Karatsev of Russia 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in one hour and 58 minutes. Seppi, who was runner-up at the New York Open (l. to Edmund) in February, now plays sixth-seeded Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik or American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.

Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori, who broke into the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings on 24 August, recorded his fourth tour-level win of the year over Kazakhstani wild card Timofey Skatov 6-2, 6-0 in one hour and now faces eighth seed Jordan Thompson of Australia.

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