Matthew Ebden displayed plenty of grit before beating Agustin Velotti to reach the second round of the Ecuador Open on Tuesday.
Ebden lost the opening set 6-2 but then beat the Argentine qualifier 6-4 6-3 to set up a second round match with third-seeded Italian Paolo Lorenzi, who received a bye.
The Australian was made to fight all the way and showed his tough mental side by saving seven out of nine break points. He served 12 aces to Velotti’s eight, but also registered seven double faults.
The Perth professional is No.358 in the world and faces a tough ask against the 46th-ranked Lorenzo.
In other matches, eighth-seeded Renzo Olivo of Argentina beat local Emilio Gomez 5-7 6-2 7-6 (7-5) while Spanish qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena beat Brazil’s Rogerio Durta Silva 6-3 6-1.
Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic (No.1) and Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas are the top seeds in the tournament.