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Big-serving Guccione Advances; Andreev Upset

Memphis, U.S.A.

Chris Guccione© Getty ImagesChris Guccione

Australian qualifier Chris Guccione produced a strong serving display as he dismissed American veteran Vincent Spadea 7-6(1), 7-6(5) on Monday in the first round of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, an ATP World Tour 500 tennis tournament in Memphis.

Guccione fired 19 aces, lost only five points behind his first serve and saved all three break points he faced in the 77-minute match to reach the second round of a tour-level tennis tournament for the fourth time this season.

World No. 129 Guccione last reached an ATP World Tour quarter-final in Memphis last year, when he lost to Radek Stepanek. The Melbourne native goes on to face either third seed James Blake or compatriot Lleyton Hewitt in the second round.

Despite a strong start to his opening match, sixth-seeded Russian Igor Andreev suffered his third straight upset as he lost to countryman Igor Kunitsyn 1-6, 6-4, 6-3. World No. 22 Andreev, who was making his Memphis debut, had also fallen in his first round matches the past two weeks at Rotterdam (l. to Davydenko) and Zagreb (l. to Dodig).

Kunitsyn, currently No. 43 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, had come into Memphis with a 0-4 season record. His last match win at the tour-level had come in October at Moscow, where he defeated fellow Russian Marat Safin in the final for his first ATP World Tour title.

Also Monday, Israeli qualifier Dudi Sela advanced to the second round with a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over American Bobby Reynolds. Sela had posted straight-sets wins over Canadian Frank Dancevic and American Robert Kendrick in his two qualifying matches.

 

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