Liam Broady is through to the next round of the Olympics men's singles after edging Francisco Cerundolo in a thrilling encounter at the Games.
Cerundolo and Broady put on a show under a blistering sun in Tokyo and the Brit eventually claimed victory 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.
Broady tried to take control of the match early on and had several opportunities to break his opponent during a lengthy second game.
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Cerundolo held strong under pressure and applied his own in the next game, but Broady just managed to see off the challenge on his serve.
The match continued to be finely balanced with Broady serving confidently, but unable to shake off Cerundolo’s attentions.
Broady and his opponent were clinical in their shot selection, but it was Cerundolo who was racking up the more unforced errors.
The Argentine would accumulate 23 in total in the second set and it proved costly as Broady finally broke his rival to clinch the set after 12 closely contested games.
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The second set was equally close with Broady hoping to outlast Cerundolo as he had previously done.
Again, the set was tied with Cerundolo serving in the tenth game, but this time the world 116 didn’t falter.
Cerundolo recused two match points to hold firm and forced a tie-breaker which he quickly took charge of.
Broady fought back to 4-4 after dropping four points in a row but went behind again from a powerful and pinpoint backhand by Cerundolo.
It was yet another winner from Cerundolo who hit 23 in totally in the second set to turn the tide in his favour.
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Broady succumbed to the pressure to lose the tie-breaker 7-4 and the second set in the process, with Cerundolo loudly celebrating keeping his Olympic dream alive.
Into the third and deciding set and Broady finally garnered some momentum by breaking Cerundolo in the third game.
It was the first time since the first set Cerundolo had dropped a service game since the first set and Broady then converted another break point to move 4-1 ahead.
It was the first bit of daylight for either man in the match and the intensity of the match began to toll on Cerundolo as he required treatment on the court.
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Broady took the next game and with Cerundolo now serving to stay in the match, the Argentinian let his frustrations get the better of him by throwing his racquet into the stands.
After over three hours of playing time, Broady booked his spot in the second round via a superb ace.
Broady will take on number seven seed Hubert Hurkacz in the next round.
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