In a dramatic match in which he made up for the set and "break" behind, and then gambled three match points, Duje Ajduković realized the fourth and advanced to the second round of the ATP Challenger Split Open, defeating German veteran Dustin Brown 2: 6, 6: 4, 7: 5.
The conditions for the game were not simple, it was cold and windy, occasionally with light rain, but Ajduković and Brown provided a very solid match. With an atypical style of play, with a lot of shortened and cut points, Brown (ATP 293) took the lead 6:2, 3:1 quite easily and quickly, and then Duje started to catch the rhythm and his shots from the baseline began to harm the opponent more and more. Ajduković won the second set and took a 5:3 lead in the third, but it was not possible without drama. At the match serve, the 20-year-old from Split did not score two match points, then he drew 15-40 at 5:5, and at 6:5 he finished the job using the fourth match point with a great backhand "winner" on the back.
– The serve pulled me out a lot, and that is important against players like this when you will surely get into awkward situations on the service. The game could have been better. Brown plays without rhythm and it took me a while to adjust - said Ajduković after the match, who recently got over the coronavirus, which is why he was without training for ten days. It could have been seen that he lacked strength and that it will take time for him to return to his previous level.
After defeating Brown, once the 64th player in the world with over 150 matches on the ATP Tour, Ajduković goes to the No 6 seed, the Slovenian Blaž Rola in the second round. – I'll see how he plays, analyze him and I'm going to win! - said the tennis player from Split, currently 308th in the world ranking. A win would, at least in the live rankings, put him in the Top 300.