Chilean Paul Capdeville won eight consecutive games to overcome a one-set deficit and eliminate Australian teenager Luke Saville, 6-7(7), 6-0, 11-9, in the first round of men’s singles qualifying on Wednesday afternoon.
Capdeville produced a dominant second set, winning 6-0 in just 26 minutes to square the contest at 1-1, before outlasting the Australian in a gruelling third set.
No.29 qualifying seed Capdeville opened the deciding set 2-0, before Saville evened the contest at 4-4 as his opponent began to tire when the match on Show Court 3 pushed past two hours.
The third set extended beyond an hour, as Saville missed several opportunities to break the Chilean’s serve. Despite tiring, Capdeville refused to surrender and eventually it was Saville who cracked as Capdeville claimed the decider 11-9 in a match which lasted just over three hours.
Earlier, 19-year-old Saville produced a spirited display as he took the first set, saving three set points before holding on in a gripping first set tiebreak.
With both players holding serve in the opening set, Saville faced a 0-40 deficit on his own serve with Capdeville ahead 5-4.
Saville’s fight sent the set to a tie break, where he gained the upperhand before the 30-year-old Chilean reeled of three consecutive points to be in a commanding position. However, the Australian rebounded once more to claim the tiebreak 9-7 in a set which lasted 65 minutes.
As good as Capdeville was in stamping authority on the contest, it was Saville who was his own enemy at times. The 2012 Australian Open Boys’ Singles champion committed 63 unforced errors for the match.
The match was played in front of a passionate crowd, with the Australian support for Saville matched by the Chilean contingent present on Show Court 3.
Saville joined a long list of Australian casualties on day one of men’s qualifying, with Matthew Barton, Bradley Mousley, Marc Polmans, Matt Reid and Akira Santilla already eliminated.
Capdeville advances to face Japan's Taro Daniel in the second round of men’s qualifying on Thursday, after Daniel's defeated Henri Laaksonen in straight-sets.
The Chilean will be looking to improve on his performance from last year, when he lost to Ricardas Berankis in the third round of men’s qualifying.