Nicolas Jarry lost in the final round of qualifying two days ago at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. But now, the Chilean has the biggest win of his career.
The lucky loser saved a match point on Tuesday en route to defeating reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) in a two-hour, 33-minute second-round battle. The World No. 81 is now 3-1 against players inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings, having defeated Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic last year.
“It means a lot. It’s one of the biggest victories of my career. It was a really, really tough match,” Jarry said. “I was trying to get everything out of me but take in the energy from the crowd. That was amazing. I had a lot of support from a lot of Chilean guys and some Spaniards. It was a great match.”
Jarry held a double-break lead at 3-0 in the third set against Zverev, with a chance to make it 4-0. But Zverev reduced his errors and fired up both himself and the crowd as he clawed his way back, ultimately earning his match point at 6-5 on the Chilean’s serve. Even after barely missing a backhand down the line on that opportunity, Zverev stormed to a 3/0 lead in the ensuing tie-break.
But Jarry never went away, using a five-point spurt to regain the momentum and eventually triumph when Zverev missed into the net. The 23-year-old will next face 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov or home favourite Fernando Verdasco.
“I was able to handle the good moments and bad moments. I was very good with my mental game,” Jarry said. “I’m really happy to be able to keep on going at this amazing tournament.”
Zverev, who began the week 21st in the ATP Race To London, has now lost five of his past seven matches. In two weeks, he will be defending his Mutua Madrid Open crown.
Two-time former champion Kei Nishikori recovered from a slow start to record his 20th match win in Barcelona. The fourth-seeded Japanese star bounced back from 1-4 in the first set to win 12 of the next 15 games in a 7-5, 6-2 second-round victory over American Taylor Fritz in one hour and 41 minutes.
He will next play Canadian No. 16 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime or Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri, who needed two hours and 42 minutes to overcome Delbonis’ compatriot, lucky loser Guido Andreozzi, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2.
Four-time former finalist David Ferrer, who intends to retire after competing in Madrid, lost just 11 of his service points in a 6-3, 6-1 win over Mischa Zverev of Germany in 65 minutes. The 2008-09, 2011-12 runner-up will next prepare to meet French No. 15 seed Lucas Pouille in the second round.
Ferrer: “In The End, All You Have Left Is The Person”
Elsewhere, in other first-round action, 19-year-old Spaniard Nicola Kuhn recorded the biggest win of his career over qualifier and No. 76-ranked Argentine Federico Delbonis 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-2 in two hours and 30 minutes.
Did You Know?
Jarry lost to Marcel Granollers in the final round of qualifying Sunday, and then beat him in a two-hours, 30-minute three-setter on Monday.