18-year old Estonian gets first career Grand Slam match victory

Mark Lajal.
Mark Lajal. Source: Estonian Tennis Association

18-year old tennis player Mark Lajal is currently participating at the French Open and captured his first career Grand Slam match win in a boys' doubles match on Tuesday.

Lajal and his British partner Jack Pinnington Jones are ranked first in the boys' doubles rankings for the tournament and advanced to the second round in less than an hour and a half.

The pair faced off against Spanish player Daniel Rincon and Jordanian player Abedallah Shelbayh, who began the match well, taking a 3:0 lead in the opening set. Lajal and Jones climbed out of the deficit and equalized the set, after which the Estonian and the Brit won two consecutive games from 4:4 to realize a first set victory.

The 51-minute second set passed very competitively and the two pairs traded game victories, without either pair ever holding a lead greater than one game. Lajal and Jones ended up taking the second set tie-break 7:4 and advanced to the second round of the tournament.

Lajal also made his Grand Slam debut in the boys' singles tournament, but did not advance to the second round after enduring a 5:7, 6:4, 0:6 loss to Italian Luca Nardi.

Lajal is the only Estonian left at the French Open, as Anett Kontaveit and Kaia Kanepi have both been eliminated from the tournament's women's singles competition.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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