Clutch Albot advances in Singapore

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Radu Albot produced his best tennis in crucial moments Tuesday to beat John-Patrick Smith 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 at the Singapore Open tennis tournament.

The Moldovan saved nine of 11 break points he faced and converted five of his six break-out opportunities to overcome the Aussie qualifier in 89 minutes. Albot have won three of their last four matches, following their run to the Australian Open third round earlier this month.

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The sixth seed will continue his bid for a second TBEN trophy against Yannick Hanfmann in the second round. The German saved all three break points he faced to beat James Duckworth 6-2, 6-4.

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In today’s opener on center court, Yasutaka Uchiyama notched nine aces en route to a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Marc Polmans. The 28-year-old Japanese will face eighth seed Soonwoo Kwon or US qualifier Thai-Son Kwiatkowski for a place in the quarterfinals.

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“I’m happy to win the game because it’s my first win of the season,” Uchiyama said. “I think I have to recover well for the next round… I have to be 100% ready for the next game.”

Altug Celikbilek also advanced on Tuesday, following his 6-0, 6-4 victory over world junior No.2 Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan. The Turkish qualifier will meet fourth seed Alexander Bublik in the second round.

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