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Seppi Made To Work Hard; Gasquet Routs Rochus

Belgrade, Serbia

Krajinovic © Srdjan StevanovicFilip Krajinovic is the fifth different teenager to win a singles match on the ATP World Tour this season

Eighth-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi was made to work hard for his place in the second round of the Serbia Open 2010 Tuesday as he came from a set behind to defeat Argentine Leonardo Mayer 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.

In a match featuring 12 breaks of serve, World No. 47 Seppi converted seven of the 13 chances he created to seal victory in two hours and six minutes. The 26 year old reached the semi-finals at the first edition of the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament in Belgrade last year (l. to Djokovic).

Seppi next will face former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet, who was in ruthless form as he began his campaign with a crushing 6-0, 6-1 win over Belgian Olivier Rochus in just 54 minutes.

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The Frenchman dropped only nine points on serve and capitalised on five of nine break points in the pair’s sixth meeting as he levelled their head-to-head series at 3-3. The 24-year-old Gasquet, making his debut in Belgrade, improved to a 12-5 match record on the season, highlighted by a runner-up finish in Sydney (l. to Baghdatis).

Defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic will face Fabio Fognini in the second round after the Italian defeated Croatian qualifier Franco Skugor 6-3, 6-1 in 65 minutes. Victory for the No. 80-ranked Fognini snapped a five-match losing streak dating back to a second-round exit at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Frenchman Josselin Ouanna set up a second-round clash with No. 2-seeded American John Isner after breaking serve three times to cruise past Italian qualifier Flavio Cipolla 6-3, 6-1 in 70 minutes.

Despite the support of his older brother Novak from the stands, Marko Djokovic was unable to win his first-round match, falling to Italian qualifier Alessio Di Mauro 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-0 in two hours and 25 minutes. Currently unranked on the ATP World Tour, the 18-year-old Djokovic felt it was a missed opportunity.

“Of course I'm disappointed. I had my chances and couldn't take them. A win in today's match would have meant a lot: No more qualies at futures and most of all a great match-up against (Stanislas) Wawrinka tomorrow.”

Another 18-year-old Serbian wild card, Filip Krajinovic, earned his first tour-level win Tuesday as he saved one match point in a 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-1 win over fellow teenager Evgeny Donskoy of Russia in two hours and 18 minutes. It was the second all-teenage match on the ATP World Tour this year. In January at the Australian Open, Aussie Bernard Tomic defeated Frenchman Guillaume Rufin.

Krajinovic is the fifth different teenager to win a singles match on the ATP World Tour this season, joining Bernard Tomic (2nd Rd., Australian Open), Ricardas Berankis (QF, San Jose), Guillaume Rufin (QF, Marseille), and Ryan Harrison (2nd Rd., Indian Wells).

Krajinovic, who currently stands at No. 319 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings, made his ATP World Tour debut last year at this tournament and is playing in his fourth tour-level event overall.

The teenager will next confront 2009 ATP Newcomer of the Year Horacio Zeballos after the Argentine edged past Canadian lucky loser Peter Polansky 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(2) in the evening session. Polansky had stepped in as a late replacement for seventh-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, who withdrew due to illness.

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Serbia Open, Belgrade

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