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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday April 20, 2021

Sebastian Korda

Sebastian Korda served for the match and had a pair of match points in the third set, but fell in defeat in first-round action to Aljaz Bedene.

Photo Source: Getty

Sebastian Korda battled through a difficult third set and found himself at the finish line in Belgrade on Tuesday night, holding two match points on his serve at 5-4, 40-15 in the third set. But the American couldn’t close the deal and ended up falling to the Slovenian in a third-set breaker, 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(5) at the Serbia Open.

Tennis Express

It will be a bitter pill to swallow for the 20-year-old American, a world No. 66 that entered the match with a 13-8 career record, and a 4-0 record in first-round matches on the season.

Korda drops to 10-5 with the loss, while Bedene, who will face Aslan Karatsev in the second round, improves to 9-6. The World No.56 was steady in the face of adversity on Tuesdsay, forcing Korda into errors on both of the American’s match points.

Bedene had a match point of his own with Korda serving at 5-6, ad-out in the third set, but the American took care of his end to level up and force a decider.

Bedene raced out to a 3-0 lead in the breaker, then held three more match points at 6-3. Korda wasn't quite done. He won the next two points on his serve to put the pressure back on Bedene. But a booming forehand forced a long reply on the forehand side from Bedene on the next point to close affairs in two hours and 40 minutes.

In other action on Tuesday in Serbia, South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon forced a second-round match with Novak Djokovic by defeating Roberto Carballes Baena, 6-3, 7-5. Federico Delbonis (d. Berankis), Miomir Kecmanovic (d. Bagnis), Gianluca Majer (d. Djere), Taro Daniel (d. J. Sousa), Arthur Rinderknech (d. Londero) and Alexei Popyrin (d. Cerundolo) were also winners on a busy Tuesday in Belgrade.


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