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Top Seed Andreev Survives Scare

Casablanca, Morocco

Juan Carlos Ferrero In Action© Getty ImagesJuan Carlos Ferrero In Action

Igor Andreev rallied past Moroccan wild card Rabie Chaki 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the second round of the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca on Tuesday.
   
The 25-year-old Russian, who was making his Casablanca and 2009 clay court debut, improved his match record to 9-9 on the season. He will next meet Frenchman Nicolas Devilder, who ousted Daniel Koellerer 6-3, 6-4.

Andreev converted four of 12 break points while saving five of eight on his serve. The No. 482-ranked Chaki was looking for his first career win in an ATP World Tour tournament. His only other main draw appearance came in Casablanca two years ago when he lost in the first round.       

No. 2 seed Rainer Schuettler missed a chance to win his 300th career match on the ATP World Tour as he fell to Spanish qualifier Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-4, 7-6(5). The 32-year-old German slipped to 5-8 on the season and he has a 299-286 match record.
 
Ramirez Hidalgo won his first ATP World Tour match (1-3) of the year after falling in the opening round in Chennai, Johannesburg and Acapulco. The 30-year-old Spaniard, who reached the semi-finals in Casablanca two years ago, is playing in the tournament for the sixth time in the past seven years (except 2005). 

No. 3 seed Albert Montanes, who reached the final two years ago, advanced to the second round with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Moroccan wild card Reda El Amrani.

Montanes, who came into the tournament ranked a career-high No. 35, converted three of 10 break points while saving both break points he faced in the one hour and 25 minute match. The 28-year-old Spaniard will next face countryman and 2004 champion Santiago Ventura, who needed only 42 minutes to defeat Austrian qualifier Olivier Marach.

No. 6 seed Marc Gicquel saved all five break points he faced in a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Kristof Vliegen of Belgium. The 32-year-old Frenchman converted two of three break points and won 18 of 21 first serve points (86 per cent) in the 68-minute match. He will next play German Mischa Zverev, who ousted Italian qualifier Flavio Cipolla 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
           
Former ATP World Tour No. 1 and 2003 Roland Garros champion Juan Carlos Ferrero (pictured) improved to 3-0 lifetime against No. 7 seed Christophe Rochus with a 6-2, 6-3 win over the Belgian. Ferrero, who is playing in Casablanca for the first time in 10 years, converted five of 11 break points and fired nine aces in the 61-minute opener.

The No. 115-ranked Ferrero is trying to improve his ranking so he could get direct entry into Roland Garros. The main draw cutoff is next week. Ferrero will take on Italian Potito Starace in the second round. Starace came back to defeat Spaniard Oscar Hernandez 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

In other matches, Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili defeated Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-1 and Belgian Olivier Rochus rallied to beat Moroccan wild card Mehdi Ziadi 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

 

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