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Odesnik, Melzer Back On Familiar Ground

Houston, U.S.A.

Jurgen Melzer© Aaron M. Sprecher/ROCCJurgen Melzer

American Wayne Odesnik picked up his first match win of the 2009 ATP World Tour season by defeating South African Kevin Anderson 7-6(2), 6-4 on Monday at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship, an ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Houston. Odesnik secured the only break of serve in the final game of the match to close out the win in one hour and 40 minutes.

Odesnik, who made his ATP World Tour debut at this tournament as a wild card in 2004 (l. to Blake), achieved his best tour-level result last year in Houston when he reached the semi-finals. He held two match points against Spaniard Marcel Granollers in the second set of that match, but succumbed to the eventual champion 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

He next faces third-seeded Austrian Jurgen Melzer, who won six of nine break point chances to defeat American Robert Kendrick 6-1, 7-5 in 67 minutes. Melzer has reached the quarter-finals or better in each of his past five Houston appearances, highlighted by a runner-up finish in 2006 (l. to Fish).

The 31st-ranked Melzer has a 5-10 season record, and will be looking to win consecutive matches for the first time since a third round showing at the Australian Open (l. to Murray).

Russian Evgeny Korolev battled through a tough first round match against another 21 year old, Argentine Leonardo Mayer, before prevailing 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-5 in two hours and 32 minutes. Korolev reached his first ATP World Tour final two months ago as a qualifier at Delray Beach (l. to Fish).

He takes a 1-0 head-to-head record into his next match against Daniel Gimeno-Traver, whom he defeated in three sets last year in Valencia. The Spaniard knocked out No. 8 seed Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in the final match Monday.

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