Photos: Malek Jaziri records landmark 100th win at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Published on March 15, 2021 at 13.35
Jubilation muted due to nature of match victory.
Malek Jaziri celebrated the 100th Tour level victory of his career on Sunday to advance into the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
But his jubilation was muted, as his victory came after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was forced to retire with a right arm injury as the match was intriguingly poised at 3-3 in the opening set.
"I'm sad to win this way because I have a lot of respect for him and he's a really nice guy and hopefully he'll recover as soon as possible," said Jaziri.
Tournament wild card Aslan Karatsev edged past Egor Gerasimov 6-4 6-4, fighting off two break points as he served for victory at 5-4.
The Russian recently caused a sensation at the Australian Open where he became the first player in the Open Era to reach the semi-finals upon his Grand Slam main draw debut.
He was also the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since Vladimir Voltchkov at Wimbledon in 2000, and at 114 he was the lowest-ranked Grand Slam semi-finalist since number 125gth ranked Goran Ivanisevic at Wimbledon in 2001.
And last week he won the first doubles title of his career with partner Andrey Rublev in Doha.
Egor Gerasimov played against Karatsev in the Dubai first round.
Kei Nishikori was the first player into the second round after overcoming the 2.11 meter-tall Reilly Opelka 3-6 6-3 6-4 to set up a second round meeting with fifth seed David Goffin.
Nishikori, a former world number four, has suffered several career setbacks due to illness and injury. After losing in the third round of the US Open in August 2019, he underwent elbow surgery for a second time and then in 2020 after a year out of the game he played just four events, winning two matches.
Nishikori overcame Reilly Opelka (in picture) 3-6 6-3 6-4 to set up a second round clash with fifth seed David Goffin of Belgium.