• Paire, Goffin advance at Portugal Open

    4/29/13 7:05 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Paire, Goffin advance at Portugal Open Benoit Paire takes care of Igor Sijsling in straight sets on Monday in Oeiras. Paire is joined in the second round by David Goffin, who needed three to get past Pedro Sousa.

    (6) Benoit Paire d. Igor Sijsling 7-6(5), 6-3

    Playing in a hoodie amidst cold and rainy conditions, Paire prevailed in his Portugal Open first-rounder by ousting Sijsling after one hour and 14 minutes. Neither man showed particular interest throughout the match and they combined to save none of four break points in the first set. Paire led 2-0 in the opener then got broken twice in succession to fall behind 3-2. The Frenchman broke back to force a tiebreaker and earned a crucial mini-break at 5-5 before firing a service winner to clinch it.

    Sijsling showed few--if any--signs of recovering in the second set. The unseeded Dutchman put himself in a quick 4-1 hole with two donations of serve before getting one of the breaks back in the sixth game. Nonetheless, Paire held to 5-3 then finished off the victory with one more break. Oeiras' No. 6 seed converted match point by crushing a Sijsling second serve with a backhand winner. Next up for Paire is either Victor Hanescu or Rui Machado.

    David Goffin d. (WC) Pedro Sousa 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-4

    The conditions may not have been ideal for tennis, but nothing could have foreshadowed a hard-to-believe 18 breaks of serve. That is the total for which Goffin and Sousa combined in what was a back-and-forth error-fest that lasted two hours and three minutes. A wild first set saw Goffin trail 2-0, win five games in a row for 5-2, lose four straight to trail 6-5, then break to force a tiebreaker and dominate it seven points to one.

    Sousa, who has never won a main-draw match at an ATP tournament, eventually served to level the match at a set apiece at 5-3 in the second. The 224th-ranked wild card failed to do so, but he broke his opponent to finish off the middle frame of play in appropriate fashion. Seven breaks took place in the decider. Goffin earned a quick one at love then gave it right back by double-faulting on break point. The Belgian's scalp of the Sousa serve at 4-4 finally proved to be the difference. Amazingly enough, there was not a single love service hold until the final game of the match; Goffin shockingly delivered it at 5-4 to book a second-round date with either Julien Benneteau or Pablo Carreno-Busta.

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tennisnba , 4/30/13 9:37 PM

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