• Gulbis saves match point to get past Haider-Maurer

    7/24/12 9:44 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Gulbis saves match point to get past Haider-Maurer Ernests Gulbis comes back from the brink of defeat to storm past Andreas Haider-Maurer in the Kitzbuhel first round on Tuesday. Gulbis will go up against Rogerio Dutra Silva for a spot in the quarterfinals.

    Ernests Gulbis was one point from a straight-set loss but he recovered to beat Andreas Haider-Maurer 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the first round of the bet-at-home Cup on Tuesday afternoon. Gulbis struck 11 aces and broke serve five times to advance after two hours and three minutes of play.

    Playing in front of a home Austrian crowd, Haider-Maurer got off to a fast start at the expense of an error-prone Gulbis. The wild card saved both of the break points he faced in set one and his second break of the day came at 5-2 to close things out in style.

    With momentum in hand, Haider-Maurer raced to a 5-2 advantage in the second. But that's when the tide turned. Gulbis held to stay in it at 2-5, earned his first break of the proceedings when it mattered most at 3-5, then saved a match point with a second-serve ace at 4-5. The 67th-ranked Latvian ultimately won five games in a row to steal the set out of nowhere.

    Having squandered an almost sure victory, there was no recovery for Haider-Maurer. The world No. 149 held to open the third but promptly dropped six games in succession. Gulbis' punctuated his comeback victory with a crushing forehand return at 5-1.

    Kitzbuhel's No. 7 seed will battle Rogerio Dutra Silva for a place in the quarterfinals. Dutra Silva advanced when Jan Hajek retired five games into their match.

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