Stan Wawrinka rallied from a set down to defeat Sergiy Stakhovsky 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday and avoid a third first-round exit in as many trips to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Wawrinka was two points from defeat in trailing 4-5 in the second set and down 0-30 on his serve. He rallied to win the next four points and then broke Stakhovsky in the next game to turn the momentum of the match. It was the second consecutive tight match between the two, with Wawrinka saving two match points to beat Stakhovsky in Marseille last week.
"It's good for my confidence but it was a tough first match," said Wawrinka. "I was hesitating, always being behind, staying aggressive. And it's tough to play especially against Stakhovsky, who doesn't give you too much rhythm.
"But it's a great win for me. Not playing well, still winning, still fighting, still finding a way. I was playing a little bit better at the end, trying to be the aggressive player on the court. It's good to have a chance to play better tomorrow."
Nick Kyrgios, fresh off his first ATP World Tour title Sunday, outlasted No. 7 seed Martin Klizan 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. His second-round opponent will be Mikhaul Kukushkin, who beat Denis Istomin 7-5, 7-6(3).
The other three seeded players in action Tuesday were straight-sets winners: No. 3 Tomas Berdych dispatched of Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-4, No. 4 Roberto Bautista-Agut beat Simone Bolelli 6-2, 6-4, and No. 8 Philipp Kohlschreiber eased by wild card entrant Marsel Ilhan 6-1, 7-5.
Other first-round winners included Lukas Rosol, a three-set winner over Yuki Bhambri; qualifier Thomas Fabbiano beat Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 6-4; Borna Corci took out Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-4; and qualifier Franko Skugor dominated Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 6-3.
ABIERTO MEXICANO TELCEL
Qualifier Ryan Harrison pulled the stunner of the day in Acapulco with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 upset over No. 3 seed Marin Cilic in a first-round match that lasted one hour and 45 minutes. Fellow American Taylor Fritz continued his strong play, as the teenager took down No. 8 seed Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
In the women's draw, Shelby Rogers beat fellow American Anna Tatishvili 7-6(6), 6-0 as Rogers continued her hot streak coming off a finals appearance Sunday.
No. 7 seed Danka Kovinic beat Tatjana Maria 7-6(6), 6-2, while Dominika Cibulkova shut out Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-0, 6-0 in less than 53 minutes.
Upsets were the order of the day in Sao Paulo, where No. 5 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, No. 6 seed Paolo Lorenzi and NO. 8 seed Pablo Andujar were all three-set losers in first-round action.
Also moving into the second round was Dusan Lajovic, Santiago Giraldo, qualifier Facundo Bagnis, Inigo Cervantes and Diego Schwartzman, who all advanced in straight sets.