Olivetti Squeaks by Herbert at Cherbourg Challenger

by John on February 27, 2014

Olivetti @ Cherbourg

Frenchman Albano Olivetti skunked his doubles partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the Cherbourg Challenger this afternoon in a match that almost defies analysis. The fifth-seeded Herbert edged his fellow countryman in almost every statistical category on the score sheet, but lost the second-round matchup. The monster-serving Olivetti advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7) win. It was the kind of match that big-serving Ivo Karlovic frequently wins. But few others. Herbert led Olivetti in serving percentage, first service points won (a ridiculous 96% to 88%), second service points won, total return points won (27% to 20%), and total points (102 to 94). Olivetti had 23 aces to 15 for Herbert, but served 11 double faults to four for his compatriot. The 6-foot-8 Olivetti saved two of three break points (both with aces), while Herbert was zero of one. When it was crunch time, it was Olivetti who delivered the goods. Olivetti, ranked No.198, after reaching a career-high 194 last week, got the only break of the first set in the ninth game. The big guy served it out with three aces in the next game. Herbert continued serving brilliantly in the second set, holding with ease. It was Olivetti who wobbled, struggling to get his first serve in the box. He saved a break point in the sixth game to even at 3-3, and another in the 10th, while committing two double faults in the game. Herbert broke through in the 12th game when Olivetti double-faulted on set point. Olivetti got just 43 percent of his first serves in in the second set and double-faulted eight times. Both players zipped through their service games in the third set to force a tiebreaker. Herbert led 4-1 on an early mini-break before Olivetti rallied. Serving at 6-7 facing match point, Olivetti served up two aces and then won it with a mini-break on the 16th point of the tie-break. The two could only shake their heads as they shook hands at the end of the match. Strange encounter. Olivetti, who evened his record at 3-3 against Herbert, plays top seed Kenny De Shepper tomorrow.

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