SINGAPORE: Radu Albot of Moldova fended off a spirited challenge from Australia's John-Patrick Smith on Tuesday (Feb 23) with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 win for a place in the round of 16 at the Singapore Tennis Open.
Albot took the first set comfortably, but Smith fought back and held his serve to win the first game of the second set.
The Moldovan soon found himself three break points down in the second game, but hauled himself back into contention with solid groundstrokes to level the set at 1-1.
It was level at 2-2 before Smith broke away and closed out the second set in the ninth game, winning 6-3.
Albot broke Smith's serve in the third set and went 2-0 ahead, before widening his lead to 4-1 and sealing victory in an hour and 29 minutes with a big serve followed by a forehand swing volley.
In the day's other singles match, Japan's Yasutaka Uchiyama defeated Australian Marc Polmans 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, while Germany's Yannick Hanfmann took out Australia's James Duckworth 6-2, 6-4.
Turkish player Altug Celikbilek progressed to the second round with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Japanese teenager Shintaro Mochizuki.