Third-seeded Chilean Cristian Garin was pushed to the brink on Monday at the Rio Open presented by Claro, but converted his eighth match point to outlast Slovakian Andrej Martin in a wild 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) first-round battle.
Garin fought back from 2-4 in the final set, but let slip four match points with Martin serving at 5-6. The Chilean built a 6/2 lead in the tie-break and made good on his last chance to prevail after three hours and 10 minutes.
He is now on a five-match winning streak after taking the title two weeks ago in Cordoba (d. Schwartzman). Next up for Garin is Argentine Federico Delbonis, who scored a convincing 6-2, 6-4 win over Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena.
#NextGenATP Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild dug deep to score the biggest win of his career on home soil, saving three match points to outlast Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 5-7, 7-6(3), 7-5 after three hours and 51 minutes. The 19-year-old Seyboth Wild, No. 206 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, earned his second ATP Tour main draw win and his first at an ATP 500 event.
Seyboth wild let slip a 5-3 lead in the first set and nearly did the same in the second set, squandering a set point on his serve at 5-4 before staring down triple match point at 5-6. But the 19-year-old dug deep, erasing the first two match points with winners and removing the third with a delicate drop shot.
He continued to pour it on the tie-break and quickly built a 6/2 lead. Davidovich Fokina erased one set point with an underarm ace, but the crowd were on its feet after the Spaniard sent a backhand wide to level the match.
It appeared that Seyboth Wild would race through the final set after charging to a 3-0 lead, but Davidovich Fokina responded by going on a four-game run. With the crowd inside Quadra Guga Kuerten becoming more vocal in their support, Seyboth Wild dug deep and tied the score at 4-4 by breaking his opponent with a strong forehand approach.
The Brazilian collapsed to the ground in delight after a forehand error from the Spaniard ended their wild first-round clash. Seyboth Wild awaits the winner of fifth-seeded Croatian Borna Coric and Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero.
Pablo Andujar scored the upset of the day by defeating ninth seed Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-3 in an all-Spanish battle. Andujar broke Verdasco five times en route to tying their ATP Head2Head series at 3-3.
Awaiting him in the second round is another Spaniard in qualifier Pedro Martinez, who rallied to defeat Bolivian Hugo Dellien 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. The 22-year-old is still flawless (4-0) in first-round matches this season.