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Lopez Ousts Finals Hopeful Tipsarevic

Shanghai, China

Lopez© Getty ImagesFeliciano Lopez improved to a 5-1 record over Janko Tipsarevic with victory on Tuesday.

World No. 28 Feliciano Lopez dealt a blow to Janko Tipsarevic’s hopes of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as he defeated the Serb 7-6(2), 7-6(3) on Tuesday in first round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Tipsarevic won his first ATP World Tour title just over a week ago at the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 (d. Baghdatis), but then fell first round last week at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (l. to Tursunov) in Tokyo. He is currently 13th in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Year-To-Date Rankings, 750 points off eighth position.

Lopez clinched a tight first set on a tie-break and twice recovered from a break down in the second set before again dominating the tie-break to prevail in just over two hours. The Spaniard, who reached the semi-finals in Shanghai in 2009 (l. to Nadal), improved to a 31-23 mark in 2011.

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Austrian No. 14 seed Jurgen Melzer made a strong start as he dismissed Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 6-2 in 75 minutes. The left-hander, who defeated Rafael Nadal to reach the quarter-finals here last year, converted four of his eight break points and won 85 per cent of points behind his first serve.

Twelfth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov bounced back from a disappointing first-round loss at last week’s China Open by edging Poland’s Lukasz Kubot 6-4, 7-6(6) in one hour and 39 minutes. The Ukrainian notched the 35th win of what has been a breakthrough season, highlighted by winning his first ATP World Tour title at the ATP Studena Croatia Open (d. Cilic) in Umag. He goes on to face Spanish qualifier Albert Ramos, who upset last week’s Beijing runner-up Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-4.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori overcame a disastrous start against Robin Haase to defeat the Dutchman 0-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) in two hours and 12 minutes. The No. 47-ranked Nishikori goes on to face fourth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

American Ryan Harrison marked his Shanghai debut by ousting 11th-seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-3 in 82 minutes. Elsewhere, Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov set will be tasked with ending second seed Andy Murray’s 11-match unbeaten run after overcoming Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 45 minutes. 

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