POTCHEFSTROOM, February 15, 2021 (TSA Press Release)
Dimitar Kuzmanov of Bulgaria has survived a gruelling three-set match against Jay Clarke of Britain at the Potch Open to move through to the second round of the ATP Challenger 80 event at the North-West University in Potchefstroom.
The British fifth seed seemed headed for victory after winning the opening set, but the tenacious Kuzmanov fought his way back into the encounter to force a deciding set.
Kuzmanov and Clarke found themselves in the same situation, with the Bulgarian coming through to win the first-round tussle 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(2) in three hours and 19 minutes.
The Bulgarian will next face unseeded Frenchman Tristan Lamasine for for a place in the quarterfinal round.
In another match, Indian top seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran was knocked out at first hurdle by unseeded Akira Santillan.
Santillan of Australia sent the top seed packing with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 upset to book his place in the second round.
— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) February 15, 2021
South African wildcard Alec Beckley went down in three sets to Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili in his opener.
The 19-year-old led by a set but failed to make the most of his advantage and was eventually beaten 6-3, 6-2.
Another South African wildcard, Vaughn Hunter, bowed out of the tournament after a first-round defeat to third-seeded Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland.
World No.148 Huesler ousted Hunter 6-3, 6-2 to reach the second round.
DAY 1 RESULTS
Round of 32
Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) bt [WC] Alec Beckley (RSA) 2-6 6-1 6-1
Nicola Kuhn (ESP) bt Elliot Benchetrit (MAR) 6-3 6-4
Akira Santillan (AUS) bt  Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 6-3 3-6 7-5
 Marc-Andrea Huesler (SUI) bt [WC] Vaughn Hunter (RSA) 6-3 6-2
Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL) bt  Jay Clarke (GBR) 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(2)
Tristan Lamasine (FRA) bt Roberto Quiroz (ECU) 7-5 7-5