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Ouahab Stuns Haase In Casablanca; Mathieu Wins

Casablanca, Morocco

Chardy© El KhaouaJeremy Chardy won his seventh clay-court match of the season on Tuesday.

Qualifier Lamine Ouahab stunned sixth seed and 51st-ranked Robin Haase 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the Grand Prix Hassan II on Tuesday in Casablanca.

Ouahab, ranked No. 752 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, capitalised on all four of his break point opportunities to secure his first tour-level win in four years, having also won his first-round match at the ATP World Tour 250 event in 2008.

The Algerian, who reached a career-high ranking of 112 on 21 September 2009, advances to play World No. 544 Sergio Gutierrez-Ferrol. The Spaniard notched his first win on the ATP World Tour, cruising past 97th-ranked Rui Machado 6-2, 6-1. The 23-year-old qualifier broke Machado five times to claim victory in 71 minutes.

Seventh seed Albert Ramos dismissed countryman Pere Riba 6-2, 6-3, taking 26 of his 31 first serve points to seal the win in 74 minutes. The 52nd-ranked Ramos improved to an 11-9 season record and will face Victor Hanescu next. The Romanian led Malek Jaziri 6-2, 3-0 when Jaziri retired due to dizziness.

Jeremy Chardy defeated qualifier Federico Delbonis 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 40 minutes to win his opener. The Frenchman saved eight of nine break points against his serve to set a second-round clash with top seed Florian Mayer.

All seven of Chardy’s tour-level victories in 2012 have come on clay, which includes a semi-final showing at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar (l. to Monaco). He started the year by winning the Noumea Challenger, a hard-court tournament.

Chardy's compatriot Paul-Henri Mathieu recorded his third win on the ATP World Tour this season with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over wild card Mehdi Ziadi. Mathieu, the 2007 champion, converted five of his six break point chances to advance in 67 minutes.

"It always feels good to come back to a place where you won in the past," said Mathieu. "I'm happy to be back in Casablanca after missing last year."

The 30 year old is continuing his comeback from a knee injury that sidelined him from November 2010 to February this year.

"I haven't set a ranking goal for this year," Mathieu said. "I will have to wait a little bit and hopefully I will be consistent enough to move up in the rankings."

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