Delic Downs Dent in First-Round Thriller

By Vanessa Skendaris

American qualifier Amer Delic advanced into the second round of Australian Open 2009 after defeating compatriot Taylor Dent in a thrilling 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 contest.

In a close battle which lasted nearly three hours, both players held their service games in the opening set until Delic, a Bosnia-Herzegovinian born American, broke Dent then going on to win the set 6-4.

The second set followed a similar pattern with both players holding serve until Dent clinched a break at 4-3 after having two break points, eventually winning the set 6-3.

In the third set, Dent, a former world No.21, broke Delic’s serve again at 4-4.

Serving to win the third set, 27-year-old Dent delivered a powerful serve down the line, with Delic hitting the ball wide to give Dent the set 6-4.

At two sets up, Dent looked in control of the match but then became disturbed by the pro-Delic crowd. He then called for a doctor at 2-5 down in the fourth set to receive treatment on his legs.

A refreshed Dent soon saved three break points, holding serve to make the set 3-5.

But Delic, the 26-year-old, held his serve and sealed the set 6-3 with his 17th ace for the match.

Ranked 171 in the world, Delic looked like the one in control as he moved to a 2-0 lead, breaking Dent in the first game of the last set then heading on to win the set 6-4.

Delic will now meet Paul-Henri Mathieu of France in the second round.

Quick facts

Delic served 21 aces to Dent’s eight

Delic won just one more point (139-138) than Dent for the match

Delic successfully converted three of seven break point chances, while Dent managed just two of five

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