ATP Sao Paulo: Mayer saves 2 MP's to overpower Elias in 3-hour marathon



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ATP Sao Paulo: Mayer saves 2 MP's to overpower Elias in 3-hour marathon

The 18th edition of the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo has started with two thrilling matches that lasted 3 hours or more and the match of the day honor certainly goes to the 5th seed Leonardo Mayer and Gastao Elias. After a grueling battle and a real roller coaster, Mayer prevailed 5-7 7-6 7-6 saving two match points in the second set to leave the Portuguese empty-handed despite a very solid tennis he showed. Besides those match points he failed to convert, Gastao faced only two break points in the entire match (Leonardo converted both) and he was 7-5 5-3 in front before Mayer started his comeback to earn the triumph in the end.

On the other hand, the Argentine had to work hard to remain in contention, facing nine break points and getting broken three times to find himself on a brink of defeat. Still, he was serving better and better as the match progressed and he scrapes past in the end, reaching the second round where he will face Carlos Berlocq or Thiago Seyboth Wild.

The match kicked off with back-to-back breaks and we saw eight good holds after that for a 5-5 and a close closure of the set. Elias found the way to break in game 11 and he sealed the deal with a hold at 15 a few minutes later for 7-5.

He could smell the taste of victory when he broke in the seventh game of set number two, moving 7-5 5-3 in front and serving for the win in game 10. Mayer needed something special on the return and he got that, saving a match point and breaking back to level the score at 5-5 and prolong his chances.

The tie break could not have been tighter as well and Leonardo won it 12-10 to send the match into a decider but only after saving a match point at 9-10. The players were tired but they still served well and they reached a deciding tie break with 12 easy holds on both sides, setting up a tie break that would determine the winner.

This one couldn't bring the excitement of the previous breaker after Leonardo raced into a 6-1 lead, converting his seventh match point at 6-5 to grab one of the most grueling wins in his career. The 8th seed Federico Delbonis made a winning start after a 6-4 6-4 triumph over Roberto Carballes Baena in an hour and 38 minutes. The Argentine was more efficient behind both the first and second serve and he saved all three break points he faced in the first part of the second set which gave him the room to attack more on the return.

Carballes Baena fends off six out of eight break points he had to play against but that wasn't enough to give him a more positive result, losing his focus in the closing stages of both sets to find himself on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

The Spaniard saved three break points in the sixth game of the match but he failed to do the same at 4-5, hitting a double fault to give his serve and the opening set away. Each player wasted three break points in set number two to stayed locked up at 3-3 and Federico broke at love in game 10 to seal the deal and reach the second round after a forehand that stayed out of Roberto's reach. First round results:

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