Another one of Estonia's tennis players, this time on the men's Association of Tennis Professional circuit, Mark Lajal is out of the Challenger tournament in Vilnius, Lithuania, after losing in round two to Laurent Lokoli (France) in three sets, 1:6, 6.3, 6:0 on Thursday.
While Lajal, 19 years old and ranked 475th in the world by the ATP, had won his round one encounter with another French player, Terence Atmane, and raced to a first-set victory in 22 minutes against Lokoli, dropping just one game, the course of the match changed radically – Lajal's first service success rate dropped from 76 percent in set one, to 55 percent in the second set, which finished 6:3 in favor of Lokoli, and down to 47 percent in the decider, in which Lajal did not win a game.
Such comebacks are apparently Lokoli's signature tune at the moment – the victory was his fifth this year after coming back from a first-set loss.
Lajal normally plies his trade on the feeder ITF circuit; the highest-ranking ATP player in the Vilnius tournament, Tomaš Machac (Czech Republic) is ranked 112nd in the world, though he, too, suffered a shock defeat, in round one.
Editor: Andrew Whyte