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Hrbaty, Hanescu & Schuettler Progress At Russian Expense

St. Petersburg, Russia

Dominik Hrbaty AFP/Getty ImagesDominik Hrbaty at the St. Petersburg Open

World No. 340 Dominik Hrbaty (pictured) dealt a shock blow to sixth seed Dmitry Tursunov in the first round of the St. Petersburg Open on Monday, defeating the Russian 6-1, 6-1 in just 56 minutes.

Tursunov, currently No. 26 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, also fell in the first round at his past two events in Moscow (l. to Kunitsyn) and last week at ATP Masters Series Madrid (l. to Hanescu). Prior to that he had won his fifth career ATP title at Metz (d. Mathieu).

The 30-year-old Hrbaty, who was ranked as highly as No. 12 in October 2004, improved to a 5-8 match record on the season. He is making his eighth appearance in St. Petersburg and has a 12-7 event record, reaching the final in 2000 (l. to Safin) and making three quarterfinal exits.

Romania’s Victor Hanescu progressed to the second round with a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 victory over 20-year-old Russian Evgeny Korolev. The 27-year-old Hanescu is making his first appearance in St. Petersburg since losing in the second round (l. to Kuerten) on his 2003 debut. Earlier in the season he captured his maiden ATP singles title at Gstaad (d. Andreev).

Wimbledon semifinalist and former World No. 5 Rainer Schuettler brought to an early end Igor Kunitsyn’s campaign to become the first player to win both ATP Russian events in Moscow and St. Petersburg in the same year. The German converted four of seven break points as he defeated the Russian 6-2, 6-3.

The 32-year-old Schuettler was a runner-up in St. Petersburg in 2001, losing to Marat Safin, and also reached the semifinals in 2003 (l. to Sargsian). He is making his sixth event appearance

 

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