Dubai, February 26: Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised into the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships with a defeat of Pablo Carreno Busta and Benoit Paire gained revenge over Marin Cilic on Tuesday (February 25).
Tsitsipas claimed his first title of the season by retaining his Open 13 Marseille on Sunday (February 23) and saw off Carreno Busta 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 two days later.
The second seed put the Spaniard under pressure with rasping returns and was broken just the once to set up a meeting with Alexander Bublik.
Paire saved four match points in a 2-6 7-5 7-6 (7-1) win over 2014 US Open champion Cilic and will face compatriot Richard Gasquet in round two.
Cilic knocked the Frenchman out of the Australian Open in the second round last month, but fell at the first hurdle in the United Arab Emirates.
Paire had lost five consecutive matches against the powerful Croatian, including a five-set battle at Melbourne Park, yet he fended off two match points in the second set and as many in third before bossing a decisive tie-break.
World number 37 Dan Evans claimed the scalp of fourth seed Fabio Fognini, winning 3-6 6-4 7-5 on day two of the tournament.
Fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut was another to suffer a surpise exit as he went down 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 to Jan-Lennard Struff.
Yasutaka Uchiyama, Filip Krajinovic, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nikoloz Basilashvili were also first-round winners.