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Bellucci Upsets Ferrer; Berdych To Face Nishikori

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Bellucci© Getty ImagesThomaz Bellucci ousted World No. 6 David Ferrer in the second round.

World No. 45 Thomaz Bellucci overturned a 0-3 record against No. 6 David Ferrer to beat the 2011 runner-up 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday in the second round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

The Brazilian was never under pressure on serve and broke his Spanish opponent on three occasions to claim victory in 68 minutes. It was his fourth victory in 16 attempts against Top 10 opposition; his previous successes all came last year against No. 9 Fernando Verdasco in Acapulco and against No. 4 Andy Murray and No. 7 Tomas Berdych en route to the Rome semi-finals.

Ferrer suffered his earliest defeat in more than a year, since losing in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March 2011, and dropped to a 24-4 match record on the season. The right-hander came into Monte-Carlo joint with Nicolas Almagro as the two players to have won the most matches on the ATP World Tour this season. He triumphed in Auckland (d. Rochus) at the start of the season before winning two clay-court titles in Buenos Aires (d. Almagro) and Acapulco (d. Verdasco).

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"I didn't play very well," lamented Ferrer. "But my opponent, he was better than me in the first and second set, in every moment. I made lots of mistakes. I am not fast. He plays very aggressive, very consistent. He was better."

The 24-year-old Bellucci had never previously won a main draw match in three visits to Monte-Carlo and for a place in the quarter-finals goes onto face Robin Haase. The Dutchman defeated Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-4 in 85 minutes.

Sixth seed Tomas Berdych made a smooth start to his title bid, dismissing Croatia’s Marin Cilic 7-6(3), 6-1. The Czech player converted four of his nine break point chances and won 71 per cent of points on serve to triumph in one hour and 42 minutes.

The 26-year-old Berdych was a semi-finalist at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in 2007 (l. to Nadal) and improved to a 20-5 match record on the season. He captured his seventh ATP World Tour title at the Open Sud de France in February (d. Monfils) and was a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal).

Berdych next will meet Japan’s Kei Nishikori after the 12th seed defeated French wild card Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-2 in 90 minutes, saving five of the six break points he faced.

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© Christian Pfander

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