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Daniell, Oswald pull off massive upset in Paris

Marcus Daniell, right, and Philipp Oswald won their first-round match at the Paris Masters. PHOTO/FILE

TENNIS

CHRIS COGDALE
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Wairarapa’s Marcus Daniell and his partner Philipp Oswald overcame a rushed train trip from Austria to Paris to pull off a major upset in the first round of the Rolex Paris Masters 1000.

The Kiwi-Austrian duo, called into the indoor tournament at the last minute as alternates, came away with a 7-6 6-4 victory over the German pair of 2020 US Open singles finalist Alexander Zverev, and Kevin Krawietz, a two-time grand slam doubles champion.

Daniell and Oswald had numerous break chances during the first set, but the massive serves and pinpoint reactions of Zverev and Krawietz extinguished their hopes.

They did exceptionally well to break back on the Krawietz serve, after relinquishing Daniell’s serve with a series of errors.

In the tiebreaker, Daniell and Oswald stepped up their returns of serve and dominated the net to clinch the first set in 46 minutes.

The second set went with serve to 4-4 before the underdogs broke Zverev’s serve.

That left it to Oswald to serve out for the match, but as expected, Zverez constantly threatened with his powerful groundstrokes and Krawietz was impeccable at the net.

Oswald found several first serves and Daniell’s touch at the net never faltered, and they took the final game to love.

The result is a major coup against the storied German combination. In September, Zverev lost the singles final at the US Open to Austrian Dominic Thiem in a fifth-set tiebreaker after leading by two sets. He has won 13 singles titles and is currently ranked No.7 in the world.

Krawietz recently won the French Open at Roland Garros for the second consecutive year, with fellow German Andreas Mies.

Daniell and Oswald earned 90 valuable ATP points for the victory. They will now face eighth seeds, Jurgen Melzer [Austria] and Edouard Roger-Vasselin [France], in the second round.

The victory comes after a narrow quarterfinal loss to Bosnian Tomislav Brkic and El Salvadorian Marcelo Arevalo in the Astana Open in Kazakhstan.

Last month, Daniell and Oswald had their first tournament victory together winning the Sardegna Open in Italy.

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