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Dolgopolov Denies Baghdatis; Ljubicic, Muller Fire Into QFs

Metz, France

Kohlschreiber© Moselle OpenPhilipp Kohlschreiber reached the second round on Wednesday.

Third seed Alexandr Dolgopolov denied Marcos Baghdatis his 200th match win as he rallied past the Cypriot 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-3 at the Moselle Open on Wednesday.

Baghdatis came back from 3-5 down in the first set tie-break to clinch the 56-minute opening set, but rued his three missed opportunities to go up a break in the second. Dolgopolov drew level with a break on set point and built a 3-0 lead in the third, proceeding to claim the victory after two hours and 20 minutes.

Dolgopolov, currently at a career-high No. 29 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, is making his first appearance since a fourth-round run at the US Open (l. to Djokovic). He is through to his eighth tour-level quarter-final of the season.

Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, the No. 4 seed and 2005 Metz champion, took full advantage of his opportunities - going 2 for 2 on his break points - to defeat French qualifier Nicolas Renavand 7-5, 7-5. Ljubicic fired 13 aces and won 84 per cent of his service points.

Eighth seed Gilles Muller also advanced to the quarter-finals, hitting 12 aces past French wild card Benoit Paire for a 7-6(5), 6-4 victory in just over 90 minutes.

"My opponent is a very talented player which is very difficult as you never know what shot he is going to come up with," said Muller. "I served really well today. I don’t think I had to save any break point on my serve. I am very pleased with my game, it’s pretty solid and I feel good on the court."

The World No. 49, who will next face either second seed Richard Gasquet or Olivier Rochus, will be looking to reach his second ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season. In July, he lost to John Isner at the Atlanta Tennis Championships.

In first-round action, former champion and wild card Arnaud Clement beat fellow Frenchman and No. 5 seed Michael Llodra 6-3, 6-4 in 80 minutes. The 33-year-old Clement, who won the 2003 title, is making his ninth straight tournament appearance.

"It’s probably the best match of the season for me," said the Frenchman. "It’s never easy to play somebody you know by heart. I am totally aware that Micka arrived here tired and it could have been a totally different result if he was in full form. It feels good to be in the second round here."

Seventh-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber will meet Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling in the second round after the 2009 runner-up beat French qualifier Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy 6-4, 7-6(4) in 87 minutes. Kohlschreiber hit 10 aces and won 71 per cent of his service points, compared to 81 per cent for Dasnieres de Veigy.

Russian Igor Kunitsyn withstood 15 aces from the racquet of Kenny de Schepper to beat the French wild card 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 23 minutes. Kunitsyn converted three of his 14 break point opportunities.

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