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Volandri, Local Favorite Karanusic Reach Second Round

Umag, Croatia

Roko Karanusic Rene Karaman Roko Karanusic in Umag

Two-time ATP Studena Croatia Open finalist Filippo Volandri snapped a seven-match losing streak by defeating fellow Italian Flavio Cipolla, 6-1, 6-4 on Monday in first round action at Umag.

Volandri broke Cipolla's serve five times in 11 chances to close out the win in one hour and 15 minutes. It was his first ATP match win since April when he defeated Jurgen Melzer in his opening match at Barcelona.

The 27-year-old Italian, who is making his sixth straight appearance in Umag, improves to a 17-5 event record. He reached the quarterfinals or better in his previous showings, including runner-up efforts in 2003 (l. to Moya) and '04 (l. to Canas).

Volandri next faces seventh-seeded compatriot Fabio Fognini, who went 4 for 5 on his break point chances and saved all three he faced to defeat Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-2 in 61 minutes. The 21-year-old Fognini has enjoyed success on clay this season, reaching the semifinals at Warsaw and Costa do Sauipe and the quarterfinals at Vina del Mar.

Croatian favorite Roko Karanusic (pictured) recorded his first career ATP win on clay courts, after defeating Italian qualifier Francesco Piccari 6-2, 6-2 in just 55 minutes for a place in the second round.

It was his first win in four appearances at Umag. Karanusic, currently No. 108 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, had previously lost in the first round in 2003 (l. to Wawrinka), 2004 (l. to Moya) and 2007 (l. to Canas). He improves to 4-7 on the season (1-7 lifetime on clay).

The 25-year-old, who captured the Belgrade title (d. Petzschner) on the ATP Challenger circuit in February, will next meet either compatriot, Ivan Ljubicic, the No. 3 seed and 1999 semifinalist, or Mikhail Kukushkin of Russia.

Serbian Boris Pashanski saved five match points against qualifier Gianluca Naso of Italy and converted on his second match point to earn a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(9) in two hours and 31 minutes. The 25-year-old will next meet either No. 6 seed and 2003 winner Guillermo Canas of Argentina or Nicolas Massu of Chile in the second round.

French qualifier Mathieu Montcourt won his first ATP match of the season after knocking out wild card Antonio Veic of Croatia 6-4, 6-2 in 90 minutes. He converted five of 14 break point opportunities. The World No. 185 will next meet Nottingham finalist and World No. 15 Fernando Verdasco of Spain in the second round.

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