Dubai, United Arab Emirates , 1 March 2023 | AAP
Chris O’Connell has progressed to the second round of the Dubai Open by beating Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 7-5 6-4.
The victory means O’Connell, a qualifier at the ATP 500 tournament, will next play Germany’s Alexander Zverev, the No.7 seed.
O’Connell, 28, took a grip on the match when he broke in the 11th game of the first set and then held to take it 7-5.
Although O’Connell, the world No.92, is ranked almost 40 places below his Finnish opponent, he served an impressive 11 aces and dropped serve just once on his way to victory.
The win follows a good showing last week in Doha, where O’Connell was edged out in three sets by world No.7 Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals.
Zverev fought back from a set down to beat Czech Jiri Lehecka in three sets.
Thanasi Kokkinakis will aim to replicate his fellow Australian’s good form when he faces No. 8 seed Borna Coric in Dubai’s second round.
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