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Starace Beats Ninth Seed Chardy

Bucharest, Romania

Malisse© Raed Krishan/Gazeta SporturilorXavier Malisse will play defending champion Florian Mayer in the second round.

Italian Potito Starace beat ninth seed Jeremy Chardy of France 6-3, 6-0 on Monday at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy in Bucharest. Starace dropped 12 points on his serve for victory in 65 minutes. It ended a three-match losing streak against Chardy, this year's VTR Open semi-finalist (l. to Monaco).

"I played very well today," said Starace. "I was solid. I'm really happy about this win since Chardy is a tough player and I never beat him before. I like the conditions here.

"The court and the ball is pretty fast. One of my cousins lives here and therefore I always like coming back to Bucharest. I have to go step-by-step but I hope to go far this week."

Belgian Xavier Malisse will face defending champion and No. 2 seed Florian Mayer of Germany in the second round after dismissing 20-year-old Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-4. Malisse, 31, is making his Bucharest debut this week.

Seventh-seeded Pole Lukasz Kubot saved nine of 10 break points to beat World No. 418 Gabriel Moraru of Romania 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 33 minutes.

German Matthias Bachinger defeated Italian Filippo Volandri for the second time this month, rallying for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 win in one hour and 52 minutes. The pair had faced off two weeks ago in the first round of the Grand Prix Hassan II.

Gilles Simon, the 2007 and 2008 titlist, and defending champion Florian Mayer headline the field at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Daniel Brands, Jurgen Zopp, Guillaume Rufin and Attila Balazs all qualified for the main draw.

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© Raed Krishnan

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