at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Kitzbuehel, Austria - Ernests Gulbis of Latvia saved a match point before beating Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the first round of the Bet-at-Home Cup on Tuesday.
The seventh-seeded Gulbis was 5-2 down in the second set before winning 11 of the next 12 games. He received medical treatment on his right shoulder at 5-4 down. In the next game, he hit an ace to hold off the Austrian's match point.
“The conditions were tough because of the heat,” Gulbis told Austrian broadcaster ORF. “The ball bounced unpredictably sometimes... It was a close match, a few crucial points were decisive.”
Gulbis, coming off the quarterfinals in Gstaad last week, will play Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil in the second round.
Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic, who reached the semifinals at the Swedish Open this month, pulled out because of dizziness while trailing Dutra Silva 4-1 in the opening set.
Simon Bolelli of Italy defeated Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 7-5, 7-5 to set up a match against second-seeded Florian Mayer of Germany.
Philipp Oswald of Austria won his first match on the ATP tour after rallying to beat Daniel Brands of Germany 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Oswald next plays defending champion Robin Haase of The Netherlands.
Pavol Cervenak of Slovakia double-faulted 12 times, but still defeated Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3. - Sapa-AP