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Melzer Upsets Lopez; Del Potro, Simon Win Openers

Madrid, Spain

Simon© AFP/Getty ImagesGilles Simon won a rematch of the Bucharest final against Fabio Fognini.

Austria’s Jurgen Melzer caused an upset on Manolo Santana court as he ousted 13th-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 on Tuesday in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open. Both men fired 10 aces and broke serve twice each in the two-hour, 10-minute contest.

World No. 33 Melzer was playing his first match since a second-round defeat to Julien Benneteau at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last month. The left-hander won his fourth ATP World Tour title earlier in the season in Memphis (d. Raonic). Next up for Melzer is Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka, who fired 14 aces as he dismissed Olivier Rochus of Belgium 6-4, 7-6(3) in 82 minutes.

World No. 11 Juan Martin del Potro impressed in his opener, defeating Germany’s Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-2. The Argentine only slipped up once, dropping his serve at 4-0 in the second set, but quickly regained his momentum to clinch victory in 76 minutes.

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The 23-year-old del Potro is coming off his second ATP World Tour title of the season in Estoril, where he defeated Richard Gasquet in the final. He was also victorious in Marseille (d. Llodra) earlier in the year and has a 28-6 match record.

"I played really well," assessed del Potro. "It was tough to have to play the day after the final in Estoril but I played well. It's tough to change surface with the level I have at this moment, but I am ready to play and I am enjoying this tournament. As I progressed I felt better, I was feeling better and I left the match with a really good feeling, much better than at the beginning of the match."

Ninth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon battled past Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-3 in a rematch of the recent Bucharest final. In a contest featuring 13 service breaks, Simon converted eight of his 18 break point chances to prevail in two hours and 29 minutes.

The 27-year-old Simon has been in a rich vein of form during the European clay-court swing. The right-hander beat two Top 10 players to reach the Monte-Carlo semi-finals (l. to Nadal) before winning his 10th ATP World Tour title in Bucharest.

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