Davidovich Fokina seals topsy-turvy upset win over Hurkacz

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Tennis - ATP 500 - Queen's Club Championships - Queen's Club, London, Britain - June 17, 2022 Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in action during his quarter final match against Netherland's Botic Van De Zandschulp Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

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LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) - Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina recovered from a mid-match meltdown to win a final-set tiebreak against Hubert Hurkacz on Monday and knock out the Wimbledon seventh seed and last year's semi-finalist in the first round.

The 7-6(4) 6-4 5-7 2-6 7-6(8) victory was the first at the grasscourt Grand Slam for the 23-year-old Davidovich Fokina after his opening round defeat on debut last year.

Davidovich Fokina had three match points when he served at 5-3 in the third set.

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He wasted the first attempting a between-the-legs "tweener" trick shot and the Polish player saved the next two before rain forced the players off.

Hurkacz returned after the interruption to win the set and the next to take the contest into a decider.

The 25-year-old Hurkacz was considered one of the dark horses for the title this year after he hammered world number one Daniil Medvedev 6-1 6-4 to win the ATP 500 grasscourt tournament in Halle, Germany in the leadup.

The Pole also had the opportunity to close out the match in the final set when serving at 5-4 but Davidovich Fokina managed to dig deep to break back and force a 10-point tiebreak for the first time at Wimbledon.

Davidovich Fokina finally sealed the rollercoaster contest on his fifth match point when Hurkacz, who had pledged to donate 100 euros (about $106) for every ace he hits at the tournament to the Ukraine relief effort, found the net with a return after three hours and 28 minutes.

"There was a lot of tension," Davidovich Fokina said with a grin during his on-court interview. "Really, don't know how I won this match."

It was the first match at Wimbledon to be decided in the 10-point tiebreak format in the final set. The tournament previously featured a seven-point tiebreak when the score reached 12-12 in the final set of all matches at the All England Club. read more

Davidovich Fokina will meet Czech Jiri Vesely for a spot in the third round.

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Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ed Osmond

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