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Tennis • 10sBalls News • Benoit Paire Wins A Comeback In Dubai, Tsitsipas Also Advances

By Ricky Dimon

Marin Cilic saw four match points come and go while losing to Benoit Paire 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(1) in round one of the Dubai Duty Free tennis Championships on Tuesday afternoon. Cilic led 6-2, 5-3 and soon got a look at two match points on his own serve at 5-4 in the second. Paire saved the first, after which the 2014 U.S. Open champion double-faulted on the second. Although the world No. 21 went on to force a third set, Cilic eventually had two more match points with Paire serving at 5-6. At 30-40, Paire fought one off with a controversial ace.

The serve appeared to be out, as it was called, but Hawkeye overturned it and gave the point to Paire for deuce. After the Frenchman managed to hold, Cilic collapsed in the decisive tiebreaker. It finally ended in appropriate fashion at the two-hour and 32-minute mark, with Cilic double-faulting down match point at 1-6.

“Normally when it’s one set, 5-3, I normally tank,” admitted Paire, who took a picture of the mark in question following the match’s conclusion.

Next up for Paire is compatriot Richard Gasquet, a straight-set winner over Lloyd Harris on Monday.

Also advancing to the Dubai second round on Tuesday were Stefanos Tsitsipas, Benoit Paire, Filip Krajinovic, Dan Evans, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Jan-Lennard Struff, and Alexander Bublik. Struff scored an especially impressive upset of 2018 Dubai winner Roberto Bautista Agut. Tsitsipas eased past Pablo Carreno Busta and will next meet Bublik for the second time in two weeks.

”I’m happy that I got two-set victories for a very long time,” said Tsitsipas, who did not drop a single set en route to last week’s Marseille title.. “I’m not spending extra hours out on the court, which for sure is going to help me.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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