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Estonian tennis star Lajal starts year with first round win in Thailand

Mark Lajal.
Mark Lajal. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Estonia's top men's tennis player Mark Lajal (ATP No. 206) began the year with a win in the opening round of the ATP Challenger Nonthaburi tournament in Thailand against Italy's Mattia Bellucci (ATP No. 177).

It took a little time for the Estonian men's number one to get going in his first round tie against the Italian. Lajal, who climbed to 191st in the world rankings in November, lost a tight first set 4-6 to Bellucci, before bouncing back to take set two 6-4.

In set three, Lajal broke his opponent's serve, racing into a 4-1 lead, before Bellucci was forced to retire, conceding the match.

Lajal will now take on South Korea's Hong Seong-chan (ATP No. 273) in round two. The Korean overcame Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France (ATP No. 237) in his first round clash.

Lajal, who is aiming to break the ATP top 100 this year, has never previously played Hong in a competitive match.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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