Jozef Kovalik had to dig deep against Daniel Elahi Galan to make a winning start to his Cordoba Open campaign, recording a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 victory as the main draw started on Monday.
Kovalik came to Cordoba with a lot of momentum after reaching a semi-final in Istanbul on the ATP Challenger Tour to start the season. He has also arrived with plenty of clay court matches, including a quarterfinal in Antalya.
The Slovak, No.128 in the FedEx ATP rankings, went through the opening set against Galan before the Colombian began to make his comeback. Galan, who was making his tournament debut in Cordoba, grabbed the second set and took a break to lead the third. Kovalik managed the last four games of the game to claim the victory after an hour and 45 minutes.
Kovalik will face qualifier Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera in his next match. The Chilean was given a first-round pass after replacing Guido Pella in the draw after the Argentine withdrew from the tournament due to illness.
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Wildcard Nicolas Jarry, who fought against Spaniard Jaume Munar, joined him in the second round of the Cordoba Open. The Chilean came back from a set to win 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-4 after two hours and 43 minutes.
Competing in his first TBEN event in over a year, Jarry will face second-seeded Benoit Paire in his next match.