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In the 3-hour marathon – R. Berankis’ dramatic victory over Russia


The qualifying round of the ATP 500 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships was completed on Sunday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In the decisive – second – round, a 31-year-old Lithuanian Ričardas Berankis (ATP-98) after a little over 3 hours of fighting 7:6 (8:6), 5:7, 6:4 defeated the 23rd Russian Pavel Kotov (ATP-181).

P.Krotovas started the match better and after an early series of Lithuanian passes broke out 2-0. In the third game, R. Berankis managed to answer the opponent at the same time. In the fourth race, the Lithuanian neutralized the “break point” and restored balance (2: 2). Kotov once again tried to take the initiative in the sixth game, but the Lithuanian neutralized the “break point” again.

Later, the duel of fully level players continued, so I had to play overtime. P.Krotov quickly won the ball played by the opponent, but R.Berankis immediately responded with the same. Soon the Russian broke away 5: 3, but again lost the ball he played. At that time, R.Berankis played poorly during his passes and was 4: 6 behind. The Russians had two set points, but were unable to realize them either during the rivalry or in their submissions. Accelerated R. Berankis won two consecutive balls played by the opponent, broke forward for the first time in the overtime (7: 6) and realized the “set point” with his pass. This set lasted as long as 75 minutes.

The second set for R.Berankis started wonderfully (3: 0), but P.Kotov showed psychological strength and got out of the pit. Rusas won two series of Lithuanian innings, broke even 5: 0 and weighed the result in his favor. There was little shortage to make that section even more impressive. R. Berankis had a lot of trouble in his ninth game during his legends and repeatedly saved himself miraculously. The Lithuanian neutralized 6 “set points” and kept hopes of fighting for victory in the set.

After starting, R. Berankis realized a “break point” in the tenth game and equalized the result of the set (5: 5). Unfortunately, then another unexpected turn followed – P.Krotov won the series of Lithuanian stories and was close to victory again. In the twelfth race, the Lithuanian led 40:15, but did not realize two “break points” and lost the set (5: 7).

In the third set, both tennis players successfully collected points for a long time and did not give the opponent a break point. Only in the tenth game, P. Krotov was 15:40 behind for the first time during his innings. This gave Lithuania two “match points”. The Lithuanian did not realize the first chance, but in the second attempt he won a decisive point and snatched the victory.

Match stats:

Match statistics: P.Kotovas – R.Berankis Photo by organizers

The Lithuanian had not played with the Russians before and according to the original plan did not have to meet in Dubai. Kotov was left behind by a dash and did not qualify, but already after the draw ceremony in Finland Emilis Rose Mountain (ATP-71) began to complain of abdominal pain and informed the organizers that he would not play in the tournament. Kotot, who was able to do so, was then invited to a vacancy 6:4, 7:5 to beat the Belarusian Yegora Gerasimova (ATP-124).

Kotov currently holds the highest position in the ranking of ATP units during his career. The last few months have been the most successful for him – 2021. In December 2022, he won the Challenger Tournament in Italy, and in 2022. won another Challenger title there in January. After a series of tournaments in Italy, the Russians tried to qualify for the ATP 250 in Doha, Qatar, but fell there in the second qualifying round.

R.Berankis earned 20 ATP rating points and 21.8 thousand. USD, and will find out your opponent in the main stage after the draw.

The prize pool for the ATP 500 Series Men’s Tennis Tournament in Dubai is close to 2.795 million. USD.

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