Juan Martin del Potro saved three match points to rally past Marcos Baghdatis 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) at the Dubai Championships on Tuesday.
The seventh-ranked Argentine was joined in the second round by former No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko, who put away ninth-ranked Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-0, 7-5.
Del Potro, who reached the quarterfinals in Marseille and won his 14th title the week before in Rotterdam, appeared sluggish early, handing the first set to Baghdatis when he hit one of his three double-faults. But the Argentine served better in the second, breaking Baghdatis to go up 3-2 on the way to evening it.
The two traded breaks in the third and del Potro won it when the Cypriot hit a forehand into the net after a short rally.