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Baghdatis Opportunistic; Kavcic Tops Hewitt After Odyssey

Winston-Salem, U.S.A.

Nishikori© Susan Mullane / Camerawork USAKei Nishikori withstood an ace barrage in his first-round match.

Eighth seed Marcos Baghdatis took full advantage of his opportunities against American Ryan Sweeting on Monday afternoon at the Winston-Salem Open to claim a 7-5, 6-1 second-round win. Baghdatis capitalised on all five of his break points, while Sweeting managed to break the Cypriot just once from his five chances.

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The 26-year-old Baghdatis, a former World No. 8, snapped a three-match winless streak that began with his quarter-final loss in Washington (l. to Young) and improved to a 19-19 season record.

Russian Igor Andreev handed Austrian Jurgen Melzer his third straight opening round loss, ousting the No. 2 seed 7-5, 6-3 in second-round action. Melzer won a career-high 51 matches last year to finish in the Top 20 for the first time, but drops to a 17-17 record in 2011.

Hours after completing his two-day journey to North Carolina, Slovenian Blaz Kavcic closed out a 6-4, 7-6(3) win over former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, coming back from a 1-4 deficit in the second set to defeat the 2001 US Open champion.

Hewitt, who was sidelined earlier this season after undergoing foot surgery, was playing his first match since reaching the Atlanta second round at the start of the summer hard-court swing.

Kavcic had travelled a total of 50 hours from Karshi, Uzbekistan, where he lost to Denis Istomin in the ATP Challenger Tour final, to Winston-Salem. He landed at the Charlotte airport at 2:02am Monday, arrived at his hotel at 4am and slept into the afternoon, waking up at 3pm.

Istomin also won his first-round match Monday, defeating German Matthias Bachinger 7-6(1), 6-1 after 67 minutes.

Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller won 89 per cent of his first serve points and fired 26 aces in his first-round match against Kei Nishikori, but was still edged out by the Japanese qualifier 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) after two hours and 12 minutes.

American Ryan Harrison also bounced back from a poor opening set to rally past Romanian Victor Hanescu 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Harrison, a semi-finalist in Atlanta and Los Angeles, converted all three of his break point chances.

French lucky loser Edouard Roger-Vasselin will play top seed Andy Roddick in the second round after overcoming Czech Lukas Rosol 7-6(5), 2-6, 7-6(4). The 107th-ranked Roger-Vasselin reached the grass-court quarter-finals in Newport last month.

Israeli Dudi Sela earned a second-round meeting with Greensboro-native John Isner, the No. 4 seed, after dismissing Italian Filippo Volandri 6-3, 6-2. Sela, who reached a career-high No. 29 ranking in 2009, had not won a tour-level main draw match since Wimbledon.

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