Aljaz Bedene lost his serve five times on Monday and was not physically at his best, but the Slovenian found a way to outlast #NextGenATP Italian Giulio Zeppieri 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(3) to reach the second round of the Sardegna Open.
Bedene trailed 0-3 in the deciding set, but he locked down from the baseline and forced his 19-year-old opponent to finish him off. Zeppieri let slip his advantage and his chance at a maiden tour-level win with unforced errors.
Four-time ATP Tour finalist Bedene has enjoyed success in Italy before, winning seven ATP Challenger Tour titles in the country. He will next play Belarusian Egor Gerasimov, who eliminated seventh seed Guido Pella 6-4, 6-0.
In other action, German Yannick Hanfmann upset eighth seed Tommy Paul 7-6(8), 5-7, 6-3 after two hours and 56 minutes. The 29-year-old is a two-time ATP Tour finalist, with both of those championship matches coming on clay.
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Italians Advance In Doubles
Second seeds Simone Bolelli and Andres Molteni, of Italy and Argentina, respectively, defeated Americans Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow 7-5, 6-4 in the first round of the doubles draw. Also advancing were Italians Marco Cecchinato and Stefano Travaglia, who ousted fourth seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Jonny O’Mara 3-6, 6-3, 14-12.