Karen Khachanov of Russia, seeded No.1 for the Sofia Open, failed to move past his first hurdle at the event as he was beaten 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 by Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the second round on Wednesday.
Khachanov, who received a first round bye, had made the better start in the opening set, clinically asserting his dominance to quickly open up a 5-2 lead. Berrettini, however, found a way back in, dragging the set into a tiebreaker, which Khachanov sealed.
But the Russian continued to struggle with his composure as Berrettini stepped in to take control, leveling the match and forcing a decider, which he took to claim victory and move into the quarterfinals.
“It was a very difficult first set, I didn’t play so well,” Berrettini said. “But then I improved my performance in the second set and I think I played very well in the third.”
Elsewhere, Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who clinched the Doha title and reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January, rallied from a set down to beat Matthew Ebden 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and also reach the quarterfinals in Sofia.
Sixth-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain beat Bulgarian qualifier Alexandar Lazarov 6-2, 6-1, while eighth-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi lost 6-2, 7-6 to Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics in first round action.