• Mayer goes distance in Zagreb, Lacko avoids third-set 'breaker

    1/31/11 6:28 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Mayer goes distance in Zagreb, Lacko avoids third-set 'breaker Florian Mayer beats Franco Skugor in a third-set tiebreaker to reach round two of the Zagreb Indoors on Monday. Lukas Lacko also goes deep into a third set, breaking Marsel Ilhan at 6-5 for victory.

    (5) Florian Mayer d. (WC) Franco Skugor 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(6)

    Mayer got off to a slow start but battled through a back-and-forth affair with Skugor to advance to the second round of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors after two hours and 21 minutes. The German played dismal tennis in the first set, struggling to win any return points while getting broken twice. Skugor's second break of the afternoon at 5-3 finished off the opening set in style.

    The tide turned in the second, with Mayer breaking twice to easily force a third. This week's No. 5 seed donated serve immediately in the third, but got back on serve by breaking in a marathon game at 3-4. Skugor soon found himself facing match points at both 4-5 and 5-6, but he held his nerve on serve and took it to a decisive tiebreaker. The Croatian wild card missed match point on his opponent's serve at 6-5, and Mayer won the next two points for a hard-fought victory.

    Lukas Lacko d. Marsel Ilhan 4-6, 6-4, 7-5

    Lacko also recovered from a set deficit to prevail late the third set. The 23-year-old Slovak battled past Ilhan in two hours and five minutes, firing 10 aces and overcoming eight double-faults. After dropping the first set, Lacko quickly reversed the momentum of the match.

    The world No. 107 used one break to force a third set, during which a pair of breaks were exchanged en route to 5-5. Ilhan successfully held serve at 4-5 to stay in the match, but he buckled under similar pressure at 5-6. The 105th-ranked Turk saved none of the break points he faced in set three and Lacko converted his first match-point opportunity for the win. Next up for Lacko is Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, while Mayer awaits either Radek Stepanek or Stefan Koubek.

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