It wasn’t easy, but Marcos survived and advanced on Wednesday at the inaugural Chengdu Open.
Playing his first ATP World Tour match in China since 2012, Marcos defeated Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(5) in a two-day, three-hour battle in Chengdu. The encounter, which began on Tuesday evening, was suspended due to rain at 5-5 in the third set. Play resumed the following day and Marcos took control.
“The whole match yesterday (and today) was very tough,” said Marcos. “I’m happy with my win. I think I was a bit lucky or maybe better than him in the important points. I made less unforced errors and it paid off today. I’m thrilled to be in the second round.”
After immediately creating two break points on Carreno Busta’s serve at 5-all, which were both saved, he would maintain his focus in the ensuing tie-break. Marcos raced out a 4-0 lead and sealed the victory on his third match point. At three hours and two minutes, it was the longest best-of-three set match in his career.
It marked the second time Marcos played a match where all three sets went to tie-breaks. He was also victorious against Milos Raonic in Shanghai 2012.
Marcos, who fired nine aces and won an impressive 88 per cent (59/67) first serve points, has now won 13 of his last 14 first-round matches on hard courts. He has a quick turnaround for his second round encounter with Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, with the match slated for 1:00pm local time on Thursday. Marcos owns a 5-1 edge in their head-to-head, with their most recent encounter coming in Dubai earlier this year. Marcos won 7-6(2), 6-2.