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Melzer, Koubek Advance On Day Of Upsets In Kitzbühel

Kitzbühel, Austria

Austrian tennis player Stefan Koubek © Gepa/OsterauerStefan Koubek is making his ninth appearance at his home country tournament.

Second seed Jurgen Melzer stormed past Frederico Gil of Portugal 6-3, 6-0 on Tuesday, much to the delight of local fans at the Interwetten Austrian Open, an ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Kitzbühel.

Melzer booked his place in the second round after the World No. 26 hit five aces and won 29 of 37 service points for victory in just 55 minutes. Gil won just one point on return of service in the second set and dropped to 12-8 on the 2009 ATP World Tour season. The World No. 67 has reached two semi-finals at Johannesburg (l. to Tsonga) and Costa do Sauipe (l. to Bellucci) and one quarter-final at Casablanca (l. to Montanes).

Melzer, who turns 28 on Friday, is making his eighth straight appearance at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament and his ninth overall in the past 10 years (14-8 record). He improved to 9-14 on the season and will next meet Argentine Agustin Calleri for a place in the last eight.

Austrian wild card Stefan Koubek, ranked No. 213 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, got off to a winning start on his ninth appearance at the tournament. The 32-year-old Koubek earned a hard-fought 7-6(8), 6-4 win over Philipp Petzschner in one hour and 33 minutes. He improved to 6-5 on the season and will next meet seventh-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny.

Spaniard Oscar Hernandez converted four service breaks to overcome French veteran and No. 4 seed Fabrice Santoro 6-2, 6-3 in one hour. It was one of three upsets on day three. Hernandez will next meet German wild card Andreas Beck.

France’s Julien Benneteau, a lucky loser, recorded his second straight win over eighth-seeded Israeli Dudi Sela with a 7-5, 6-1 victory in 81 minutes to set up a second round meeting with Nicolas Massu of Chile.

Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo saved all four break point he faced and won 76 per cent of service points in a 6-4, 6-3 win over Croatian qualifier Mario Ancic. Ramirez Hidalgo will next meet Argentine qualifier Juan Ignacio Chela, who knocked out sixth seed Marc Gicquel of France 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 in two hours and 14 minutes. Chela hit four aces and managed to save six off 11 break points

Chilean Paul Capdeville replaced top seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia as a lucky loser in the main draw, after the World No. 11 withdrew with a left leg muscle strain. Capdeville was unable to capitalise on the opportunity as he fell to Argentine Diego Junqueira 6-3, 6-2 in just 52 minutes.

Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez became the first player to advance to the Kitzbühel quarter-finals after battling past Argentine Martin Vassallo Arguello 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in three hours and one minute. The 25-year-old Garcia-Lopez will be making his fourth quarter-final appearance of the 2009 season, previously reaching this stage at Johannesburg, Delray Beach and Houston.

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Aaron M. Sprecher


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