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Chennai Open tennis: Qualifier Ante Pavic in Round Two

Chennai: Practice makes perfect. So it did with Croat Ante Pavic. He came here a week in advance to play with India No.2 Somdev Devvarman. The week -long stint did him a world of good as he caused the biggest victory of his career by upsetting Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 3-6 7-5 7-6 (1) in the opening round of the ATP Aircel Chennai Open at the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium.

Ante Pavic
Ante Pavic

The 6 foot 5 inch from Zagreb who is ranked No.449 played out of his skin. ''Yes this is definitely the best win of my career. I had beaten Alejandro Falla of Chile who was ranked No.55 at the time in Wimbledon 2014. But performance wise this was my best showing on the circuit so far,'' Pavic said with a broad smile.

His win had an Indian touch. ''My good friend Somdev invited me a week before the tourney. This helped me in my preparations asI got acclimatised to the courts and weather,'' stressed the jovial 26-year-old.

Almagro who reached a career high ranking of 15 in 2011 is going through a slump and has plummeted to 73. His game reflected his current rank as it varied from the good to the ordinary. His backhand was on song at times as he struck winners down both flanks. He however frittered away opportunities with a number of unforced errors.

Surprisingly, Almagro outaced the big Croat 17 to 12. Though the Spaniard saved three match points at 5-6 in the decider, he was blown away by Pavic in the tiebreaker.

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