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Russell Upsets Young; Ginepri Back To Winning Ways

San Jose, U.S.A.

Ginepri© SAP Open/Alex SmithRobby Ginepri recorded his first tour-level win of the season.

World No. 104 Michael Russell drew on his experience of 14 years on tour to defeat 22-year-old Donald Young, the No. 7 seed, 6-1, 7-6(6), on Tuesday evening in the first round of the SAP Open in San Jose.

The 33-year-old Russell, a quarter-finalist in San Jose (l. to Querrey) two years ago, converted five of his nine break point opportunities to claim his second tour-level victory of the season in one hour and 31 minutes.

American wild card Robby Ginepri recorded his first tour-level win since the US Open as he defeated Xavier Malisse 6-1, 6-2 in 56 minutes. The 29 year old, a former Top 15 player, has dropped to No. 235 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings after suffering an elbow injury in September 2010 that restricted him to just four tour-level events last season.

"I felt great; I was really happy in all areas of my game," said Ginepri. "I returned well, was putting pressure on him at the right times and I felt comfortable from the start. I’m just happy to be playing again and I’ve been working extremely hard to get back to this level. Hopefully I can play like this the rest of the week, for the rest of the year, and take it one step at a time."

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World No. 70 Gilles Muller snapped a four-match losing streak as he advanced to the second round of the SAP Open on Tuesday in San Jose with a 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-3, victory over American qualifier Tim Smyczek. The Luxembourg native had not won a tour-level match since the first week of the season, when he reached the second round at the Brisbane International (l. to Murray).

Belgium’s Steve Darcis continued his good run of form as he dismissed American wild card Steve Johnson 7-6(4), 7-6(5). The No. 70-ranked Darcis, who reached the final of the Dallas Challenger last week, withstood eight aces to claim victory in one hour and 47 minutes. He goes on to face 2009 champion Radek Stepanek.

Bulgaria’s Dimitar Kutrovsky set a second-round clash with top seed Gael Monfils after beating fellow qualifier Dennis Lajola of the USA, 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-6(3). Meanwhile, American qualifier Denis Kudla will face three-time former champion Andy Roddick in the second round after defeating wild card Jack Sock 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3.

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© Kate Whitney Lucey

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