Somdev Devvarman overcame an indifferent start to beat Jiri Vanek in a fierce three-set battle and progress to the second round of the French Open qualifying event here on Tuesday.
The sixth-seed Indian scored a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over his Czech opponent in little over two hours in the first round of the clay court Grand Slam’s qualifiers.
Somdev will next take on Kiwi Daniel King-Turner, who defeated Australian Chris Guccione 6-3, 6-3 in his opening-round encounter.
Known for his fighting spirit, Somdev made a remarkable comeback after surrendering the opening set.
The 32-year-old Vanek, who was once a top-100 players, looked like puncturing Indian hopes of seeing a player in the singles main draw in the first round itself but Somdev was in no mood to throw in the towel.
After squandering three break points in the third game of the second set, Somdev was all over Vanek, breaking him in the fifth and seventh games.
Relentless hitting worked in Somdev’s favour and he broke Vanek at the first available opportunity in the decisive third set.
There was no trade of break after that and that crucial break meant that Somdev stood on the right side of the result.
Another Indian in the fray is US-based Prakash Amritraj, who will open his campaign against 17th-seed Joao Souza in the qualifiers.