Guido Pella has landed a confidence-boosting victory over David Goffin in the first round of the Western & Southern Open on Sunday for his first win over the Belgian in two years. The former World No. 20 snapped a five-match losing streak to oust the Belgian 6-3, 6-3.

In Pella’s first match since Wimbledon and Goffin’s first since Halle, due to an ankle injury, both struggled for rhythm. But the Belgian’s 31 unforced errors to his conqueror’s 16 ultimately proved telling. While the two were relatively even on first-serve points won – Pella 67 per cent to Goffin’s 65 per cent – the World No. 19 won only 41 per cent of his second-serve points and finished with five double faults.

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It was only the Argentine’s fourth match win from 17 this season and improved his ATP Head2Head record against Goffin to 2-4. He has the chance to win consecutive matches for the first time in 2021 when he next meets either Fabio Fognini or Nikoloz Basilashvili.

In the only other first-round men’s singles match played, World No. 50 Benoit Paire fought back to deny Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 5-7, 6-3, 6-2. It was only the Frenchman’s ninth match win from 23 this season and he will next face sixth seed Denis Shapovalov.

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