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Montanes Overcomes Simon; Garcia-Lopez Beats Stepanek

Stuttgart, Germany

Stakhovsky© MercedesCupSergiy Stakhovsky needed two hours and 41 minutes to beat Jaroslav Pospisil.

Defending champion Albert Montanes of Spain overcame fourth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 in his first-round match Monday at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart. Simon lost his final three service games, managing to win 45 per cent of his points on serve in the decisive set, as Montanes secured the win in just under two hours.

The two players, who were facing off for the fifth time on clay, first met six years ago in the Stuttgart first round, a match won by Simon in three sets.

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Montanes, 30, defeated Gael Monfils in last year’s Stuttgart final to claim his fifth ATP World Tour title. The World No. 41 could reach the 200-match wins milestone by successfully defending his title this week, and currently holds a 196-209 record.

Eighth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez avenged his 2009 Barcelona loss to Radek Stepanek, a 32-year-old Czech, with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-3 win in 76 minutes. Stepanek failed to convert any of his four break point opportunities and drops to a 15-15 match record on the season.

Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky required two hours and 41 minutes to beat Jaroslav Pospisil 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5) for his 19th victory of the year. The World No. 45 hit eight aces and won 73 per cent of service points. Pospisil, 30, hit nine double faults and has an 0-4 record this year.

Evgeny Donskoy, Victor Crivoi, Federico del Bonis and Pavol Cervenak all qualified for the main draw on Monday.

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