ATP Budapest: Lucas Pouille saves two match points against Jiri Vesely to reach the quarterfinals

Top seed Lucas Pouille battled past Czech Jiri Vesely 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4) at the Hungarian Open to reach the quarterfinals where he will play Slovakian Martin Klizan

Pouille comes from an early break down to clinch the first set

The good start would be made by the Czech Vesely. After both players held their opening serves, the Czech then ran away to a love-40 lead gaining triple break points with a help of a few unforced errors from his French opposition. Vesely broke at the first time of asking with Pouille netting a forehand, 1-2.

He then consolidated to love to get off to a great start. However, the number one seed turned the game on its head. After holding serve in the third game, the Frenchman played a seemingly perfect game to bring up three break back points before breaking in the very next game with the 23-year-old Czech netting a simple backhand.

Lucas Pouille strikes a forehand shot (Photo: Atilla Kisbenedek/Getty Images)
Lucas Pouille strikes a forehand shot (Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images)

Pouille held serve and for the first time in the set, he had taken the lead at 4-3. With the score and momentum changing hands, the Frenchman continued to cause all sorts to Vesely as a break point went his way at 30-40 in the eighth game.

The world number 58 threw in an erratic double fault with Pouille breaking and going up 5-3. The Frenchman grabbed set point, 30-40 after attacking Vesely and hitting a forehand winner. An attempted dropshot from Vesely hit the net with the Frenchman clinching the set 6-3 having won the last five games in succession. 

Vesely fights back to send match to a deciding set

In the longest game of the match, Jiri Vesely fought off four break points as he stopped the rot to finally win a game since early in the first set to kickstart the second. It was the Czech's turn to bring up a break point, this time at 30-40. But a confident, strong unreturnable serve from the 23-year-old Frenchman brought the game to deuce.

However, Vesely dug in and a couple points later, he grabbed a second. This time, taking his chances to go 0-2 up with Pouille smashing a forehand straight into the net. From going on to lose five games in a row, Vesely managed to turn the match around and hold serve to go on and win three games of his own in a row for 0-3.

Jiri Vesely chases down a dropshot (Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images)
Jiri Vesely chases down a dropshot (Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images)

But just like the first set, Pouille came back at the Czech. He got on the board in the fourth game and immediately began dominating the fifth game, bringing up a double break back point, 15-40. The world number 14 threw in a cheeky dropshot to break before going on to consolidate in the very next game to bring the set back on serve, 3-3.

Both players then temporarily held serve until the tenth game where Vesely found an opening and grabbed a break/set point at advantage. The Frenchman threw in a dropshot but this time, Vesely closed it down and forced Pouille to play an unforced error as the Czech leveled the match, 4-6. 

Pouille saves two match points en route to winning the match via a tiebreaker

Both began the third and deciding set by holding their own serve. Having taken the third game to deuce, Pouille won the next point, brought up a break point then confidently dispatched the point to break before impressively holding serve to consolidate for 3-1. But just like in the previous two sets, the player behind on the scoreboard rallied and fought their way back.

This time was Vesely, who in the sixth game won three points in a row to bring up a break back point at 30-40. The Frenchman attacked Vesely, ventured towards the net and after having a poor overhead returned he hit a slice into the open court to deny the Czech, deuce.

Lucas Pouille celebrates wining a vital point (Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images)
Lucas Pouille celebrates winning a vital point (Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images)

Pouille, however, would allow the world number 58 to earn a second break point, a chance he would take forcing his opponent to play an unforced error as he drew level, 3-3. But just a few games later at 4-5, Pouille would be put under some severe pressure. All square at 30-all, Vesely would bring up a break/set point which would quickly be diminished by Pouille.

A second would be brought up just moments later. And again, Pouille would be up to the task of saving a break/set point before eventually sealing the game, 5-5. From that moment on, both held serve as the match went to a tiebreaker. This would be won by Pouille, 7-4 as he clinched the match but would have three match points saved in the process.