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Ferrer Rolls In Buenos Aires; Almagro Tested

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ramos© Copa Claro/S. LlameraAlbert Ramos upset 2011 Buenos Aires finalist Juan Ignacio Chela.

World No. 5 David Ferrer impressed at the Copa Claro Tuesday, needing just 50 minutes to defeat qualifier Andres Molteni 6-1, 6-0 in Buenos Aires.

The top seed did not face a break point, and converted five breaks of serve against the Argentine to improve to 9-1 on the year. "I think he was a little nervous, but I understand him," Ferrer said. "Every player had to go through that. You can see he is a good player. I'm happy I could finish it quickly because it's always important to save energy in the early rounds."

Ferrer, the runner-up in 2010, began his season by lifting his 12th title in Auckland at the Heineken Open (d. Rochus). Molteni was making his ATP World Tour main-draw debut.

Reigning champion Nicolas Almagro was tested in his opening-round match, battling past Potito Starace 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4).

Almagro hit seven aces and won 84 per cent of his first serve points. He finished off Starace in two hours and eight minutes, defeating the Italian for the fifth time in six FedEx ATP Head 2 Head meetings.

The second-seeded Spaniard captured his 11th ATP World Tour title at the Brasil Open 2012 in Sao Paulo, and is looking to replicate his 2011 run, which saw the World No. 11 ride a 13-match win streak during the Golden Swing, highlighted by triumphs in Costa do Sauipe and Buenos Aires, and a runner-up finish in Acapulco.

World No. 12 Gilles Simon defeated Rui Machado 6-3, 7-5 to win his tournament debut. The third-seeded Frenchman converted four of his nine break point opportunities against Machado to wrap up the victory in two hours and five minutes. "I felt good. I wasn't very consistent, but I hade some good moments," said Simon. "It was a typical clay-court match and it's always good to win in two sets."

Simon is bidding to win his first title this year, having reached the semi-finals of the Brisbane International (l. to Dolgopolov) to start his season. Four of his nine ATP World Tour titles have come on clay, including his most recent triumph at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Hamburg last year (d. Almagro).

No. 7 seed Fernando Verdasco dismissed Eric Prodon 6-4, 6-1 in his opener. Verdasco, making his first appearance since 2004, hit 85 per cent of his first serves in play, winning 75 per cent of those points.

Albert Ramos, coming off his first ATP World Tour semi-final in Sao Paulo last week, overcame eighth seed Juan Ignacio Chela 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The Spaniard, ranked a career-high No. 59 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, knocked out the 2011 runner-up in two hours and 43 minutes to secure his fifth win of the year.

Two former titlists won their openers. 2008 champion David Nalbandian defeated lucky loser Wayne Odesnik 6-2, 6-3, while fifth seed Juan Monaco, the 2007 winner, led Filippo Volandri 6-1, 3-1 before the Italian retired with a right ankle injury.

Benoit Paire and qualifiers Igor Andreev and Federico Delbonis, also advanced in first-round action.

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