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Fish, Gremelmayr, Frenchmen Make Confident Starts

Los Angeles, U.S.A.

Denis Gremelmayr© Getty ImagesDenis Gremelmayr

Sixth-seeded American Mardy Fish defeated Colombian Alejandro Falla 6-2, 6-2 on Monday at the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles to notch his first match win since June.

The 26-year-old Fish broke Falla's serve four times, while saving the Colombian's three opportunities, to secure his 20th match win of the season in 61 minutes. He had lost four straight matches coming into his fourth Los Angeles appearance, beginning with a third round loss to compatriot Andy Roddick at the Queen's Club.

Fish, who will play the winner between American Vince Spadea and Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean, has enjoyed successful hard court results this season in reaching the Indian Wells final (l. to Djokovic) and quarterfinals at Delray Beach (l. to Ginepri) and San Jose (l. to Roddick).

German Denis Gremelmayr (pictured) opened the day's action with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Italian Fabio Fognini. He converted on five of his six break point chances during the 59-minute contest to snap an eight-match losing streak dating back to April, when he reached consecutive clay-court semifinals at Estoril (l. to Federer) and Barcelona (l. to Nadal). The 26-year-old next faces fourth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who received a first round bye.

A pair of Frenchmen, Florent Serra and Marc Gicquel, also needed less than an hour to secure their places in the second round. Serra defeated Kazakhstani qualifier Andrey Golubev 6-4, 6-1 and Gicquel dismissed American wild card Zack Fleishman 6-3, 6-0.

Gicquel's win marked his first in five matches against an American player. The 31-year-old, who is making his tournament debut this week, reached his third career ATP final at 's-Hertogenbosch last month (l. to Ferrer). He awaits the winner between No. 8 seed and two-time champion Tommy Haas and American teenager Donald Young.

Southern California native Fleishman, a former UCLA standout, was making his sixth straight appearance in Los Angeles after winning the wild card shoot-out last week. He reached the quarterfinals last year, falling to eventual champion Radek Stepanek.

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