Sixth seed Max Purcell enjoyed a winning debut at the Dallas Open Monday but not before surviving a third-set tie-break against American wild card Mitchell Krueger to reach the second round in Texas.
Purcell squandered two match points when trying to serve out the match at 5-4 in the third and ultimately needed three more match points in the tie-break to secure a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(3) victory.
“I was relatively close to going to bed disappointed,” Purcell said on court after the match. "I just decided to lock in and if he were to win I would be more than happy to congratulate him on a well-fought match. Man did he make me work for it!"
Asked what helped him stay calm during the tense closing stages of the match, Purcell said, “I have a slightly better mindset and the trust from having good results against good players. And I get a few extra few points during some of my matches because of my ranking.”
One of four Australians in the draw this week, 25-year-old Purcell claimed just his second win in his seventh indoor tour-level match and his first against an American opponent.
Purcell is just three spots away from his career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking of No. 40, but in coming weeks he will be under pressure to defend the 300 points he earned in February and March last year when he won three consecutive ATP Challenger Tour titles in India.
Earlier on Monday Taro Daniel advanced to the second round. The Japanese was leading Constant Lestienne 4-6, 6-4, 5-0 when the Frenchman retired with an arm injury. Daniel next plays second seed Tommy Paul, with whom he is locked at 1-1 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series.