ATP Buenos Aires: Leonardo Mayer outlasts Gastão Elias
Leonardo Mayer of Argentina serves during a first round match between Leonardo Mayer of Argentina and Gastao Elias of Portugal as part of ATP Argentina Open at Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on February 13, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Gabrie

ATP Buenos Aires: Leonardo Mayer outlasts Gastão Elias

Playing the first round of the Argentina Open as a wildcard, Leonardo Mayer defeated the portuguese Gastão Elias to book a place on the second round.

pedro-cunha
Pedro Cunha

Today was the first day of the main draw of Argentina Open in Buenos Aires. The third match of the day on the Centre Court opposed Leonardo Mayer, ranked 148th on ATP, and Gastão Elias, ranked 79th.

Fearless Elias takes the first set

Gastão Elias started the match at serve and at the very first game he faced a breakpoint. The breakpoint was saved and it was Leonardo Mayer's turn to serve. The first time Leonardo served, he was broken, handing the game with a doublefault. Elias took an early break and led by 3-0. The Portuguese was playing a fearless tennis and firing some forehand winners.

At the end of the first set, the less ranked player broke his opponent serve when he was serving for the set. When 'Leo', as the fans call him, tried to level the set, Gastão Elias raised his level and got the break. This break was handled by Leonardo Mayer like the first one, with a doublefault. At the end of the first set, the match was suspended due to the rain. Gastão Elias took the first set 6-4.

Gastão Elias of Portugal takes a forehand shot during a first round match between Leonardo Mayer of Argentina and Gastao Elias of Portugal as part of ATP Argentina Open at Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on February 13, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images)
Gastão Elias of Portugal takes a forehand shot during a first round match between Leonardo Mayer of Argentina and Gastao Elias of Portugal as part of ATP Argentina Open at Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on February 13, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images)
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Disputed second set taken by Mayer

On the second set, both players were being more aggressive and trying to hit the ball harder, what led to a very disputed second set. Gastão Elias started to serve as he did on the first set and held his serve. The first six games of the second set were dominated by the player who was serving.

In the seventh game, the Portuguese player was serving and the Argentine forced him to play his best, by having two breakpoints. The player ranked above on the rankings saved the breakpoints and held. Leonardo was moving very well and his groundstrokes were on point. By the ninth game of the set, the former 21st player on ATP rankings broke is adversary serve and served for the set. Leonardo Mayer took the second set 6-4.

Leonardo Mayer of Argentina serves during a first round match between Leonardo Mayer of Argentina and Gastao Elias of Portugal as part of ATP Argentina Open at Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on February 13, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images)
Leonardo Mayer of Argentina serves during a first round match between Leonardo Mayer of Argentina and Gastao Elias of Portugal as part of ATP Argentina Open at Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on February 13, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images)

Tough decisive set with the Argentine prevailing

The first six games of the third set are just easy holds from the player who was serving, but at the seventh game, Gastão Elias misses a backhand to give the break to Leonardo Mayer. He caught the break and never left it. Leo was serving for the match at 5-4 when the Portuguese athlete woke up and had a breakpoint. The home player was very successful saving the breakpoint and closing the match on the second matchpoint he had. Leonardo Mayer defeated Gastão Elias 4-6 6-4 6-4. 

Stats

Leonardo Mayer fired 5 aces against 2 fired from Gastão Elias. The Portuguese put less than 50% of first serves in but the Argentine put almost 70%. Mayer saved 3 of the 5 breakpoints he faced, unlike Elias who faced 7 breakpoints and saved 4 of them. The winner of the match won more 9 points than the defeated.

What's next

Leonardo Mayer will play against either Albert Ramos-Vinolas or Guido Pella.
Gastão Elias still has doubles to play with his Portuguese friend, João Sousa, who curiously reached the US Open quarterfinals in doubles with Mayer.

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