Alexei Popyrin has won an impressive victory over world No.19 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the Dubai Championships, but Alex de Minaur has been knocked out.
The Australian No.1 went down 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 7-5 to Karen Khachanov in the ATP tournament’s opening round.
Popyrin, who came into the tournament as a lucky loser having lost to Jiri Vesely in qualifying, beat his Georgian opponent 6-2 6-3 in just under an hour.
The match went with serve for five games, then Popyrin won seven straight games, including three successive breaks, to take the opening set and what proved an unassailble 3-0 lead in the second.
It was a welcome return to form for the world No.66 who had lost in the opening round in his last five events: Sydney, Melbourne’s Australian Open, Montpellier, Rotterdam and Marseille.
He will now play Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis who defeated Jan-Lennard Struff.
Compatriot de Minaur battled hard for nearly three hours against Khachanov but, having drawn level with a convincing tie-break to win the second set, was broken when serving at 5-6 in the third.
Having saved one match point, but failed to convert four game points, he finally lost the match with a double-fault.
Elsewhere in the event American Mackenzie McDonald upset Russian No.7 seed Aslan Karatsev 7-5 6-3 but seeds Jannik Sinner (4) and Hubert Hurkacz (5) progressed..