The malagueño Alexander Davidovich agreed to the second round of Madrid Masters 1,000 after winning a match of extreme equality against the French Pierre-Hugues Herbert, which he defeated 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4) and 7-6 (4).
Davidovich, 21 years old and 49 in the world, will face Russian Daniil Medvedev, second seed of the Mutua Madrid Open that takes place in the Caja Mágica in his next match.
Neither Davidovich nor Herbert lost any of their serves in the opening two sets, although the Spaniard had three chances to break in the first and four in the second. The tiebreaker games maintained the same tonic of equality.
In the third set, however, both quickly exchanged services, and not once, been two.
Without rushing, patiently in the exchanges until he found the best angle for his right, Davidovich forced a third tie-break that went very against him when he made a couple of errors that put him 4-1 down. Tireless, he served masterfully, asserted his forehand and went up to the net to intimidate Herbert, who did not make one more point.
Both rivals showed a show of sportsmanship when Davidovich fell and rolled down the track and the Frenchman helped him shake the dirt off his shirt before continuing to play.
In other first round matches this day, Italian Jannik Sinner defeated Argentine Guido Pella 6-2, 4-4 and retired; the Norwegian Casper Ruud to the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime by 6-1 and 6-4; the Japanese Kei Nishikori to the Russian Karen Khachanov by 6-7 (6), 6-2 and 6-2; the Australian John Millman to the Polish Hubert Hurkacz by 5-7, 7-6 (7) and 6-3 and the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka to the Serbian Filip Krajinovic by 6-2 and 6-4.