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Tursunov, Simon Win First Round Matches; Ginepri Upset

Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.

Gilles Simon© Getty ImagesGilles Simon In Action

Defending champion and third seed Dmitry Tursunov began his title defense on Monday at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships presented by Lilly with a 6-3, 7-5 win over fellow Russian Igor Kunitsyn.

After falling behind early in the second set, Tursunov recovered with two breaks of serve to earn an opportunity to serve out the match. He failed to convert his first two match points at 40-15 and was down a break point, but fought back to close out the match in one hour and 25 minutes.

Tursunov will attempt to reach an ATP quarterfinal for the first time since his Sydney title run in January when he meets the winner between American Wayne Odesnik and Pakistani Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.

Second seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon (pictured), the No. 2 seed, defeated compatriot Nicolas Mahut 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in his first round match. Simon had come into his first Indianapolis appearance ranked a career-high No. 25, and won his third career ATP title in May at Casablanca (d. Benneteau).

He next faces German Benjamin Becker, who began the action on opening day by defeating Denmark's Kristian Pless, 6-3, 6-4 as he served 10 aces and converted on four of his 13 break point chances.

Meanwhile, American No. 7 seed and 2005 Indianapolis champion Robby Ginepri lost to Chilean Paul Capdeville, 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 15 minutes. Capdeville reached the Indianapolis second round in his only previous appearance two years ago (l. to Muller).

Ginepri falls to a 13-7 record in Indianapolis and a 10-5 season record on U.S. hard courts. Earlier this year, he reached consecutive semifinals at Delray Beach, San Jose and Las Vegas.

In a first-round meeting between two qualifiers, Australian Joseph Sirianni led the match 6-3, 1-2 when Russian Mikhail Ledovskikh retired with an ankle injury. The 35-year-old Sirianni reached his first career ATP semifinal in January at Adelaide (l. to Llodra).

Chinese Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu battled to a 7-6(2), 7-6(12) win over American qualifier and ATP main draw debutant Justin O'Neal in one hour and 53 minutes. It was Lu's first win in Indianapolis, having lost in the first round in his previous three attempts.

The 25-year-old Lu has steadily climbed up the rankings this year, from No. 111 to a career-high No. 71 two weeks ago, by winning two Challenger-level titles in five finals. He also reached an ATP quarterfinal at San Jose in February (l. to Stepanek).


The Indianapolis Tennis Championships is the first of six ATP tournaments that comprise the US Open Series. In the lead up to the US Open, players will compete for Olympus US Open Series Challenge points at tour events throughout North America. Following Indianapolis, the Series continues with stops in Toronto, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Washington and New Haven.

The top three finishers in the Challenge will earn extra prize money based on their results at Flushing Meadows. Last year, Roger Federer took home a $1 million bonus, bringing his total prize money for his US Open title run to $2.4 million.


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