Radu Albot produced his best tennis in crucial moments on Tuesday to defeat John-Patrick Smith 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 at the Singapore Tennis Open.
The Moldovan saved nine of the 11 break points he faced and converted five of his six break opportunities to overcome the Aussie qualifier in 89 minutes. Albot has won three of his past four matches, following his run to the Australian Open third round earlier this month.
The sixth seed will continue his bid for a second ATP Tour trophy against Yannick Hanfmann in the second round. The German saved all three break points he faced to beat James Duckworth 6-2, 6-4.
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In the opening match of the day on Centre Court, Yasutaka Uchiyama fired nine aces en route to a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win against Marc Polmans. The 28-year-old Japanese will battle eighth seed Soonwoo Kwon or American qualifier Thai-Son Kwiatkowski for a place in the quarter-finals.
“I am happy to win the match as this is my first win of the season,” said Uchiyama. “I think I need to recover well for the next round… I have to be ready 100 per cent for the next match.”
Altug Celikbilek also advanced on Tuesday, following his 6-0, 6-4 victory against junior World No. 2 Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan. The Turkish qualifier will meet fourth seed Alexander Bublik in the second round.