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Sock Wins Newport Debut; Harrison Edges Through

Newport, U.S.A.

Sock© Kate Whitney Lucey American Jack Sock played his first match on grass on Monday in Newport.

American teenager Jack Sock won his second career tour-level match in his Newport debut on Monday, topping Igor Kunitsyn 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 at the Campbell’s Hall Of Fame Tennis Championships.

Sock, playing his first match since the BNP Paribas Open after being sidelined with an abdominal injury, advanced past the Russian in two hours and seven minutes to add to his first-round win over Marc Gicquel at last year’s US Open.

“Last Thursday was my first time hitting on grass in my life, so it was a new experience. But I think it suits my game well. I really enjoyed it out there,” said Sock.

“It’s a different strategy and there’s different tactics you have to use out there. The ball’s not going to bounce as high. People come in a lot more. I feel like I adjust pretty well when I go to new surfaces or climates. I still have to get used to how many bad bounces there’s going to be.”

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Sixth-seeded Ryan Harrison battled past Ruben Bemelmans 7-6(8), 6-7(5), 7-5. The American, who received the final wild card into the ATP World Tour 250 grass-court event, saved all six break points against his serve in the final set to prevail in two hours and 49 minutes.
 
Nicolas Mahut, the 2007 runner-up, did not face a break point in his 6-0, 7-6(2) victory over Marco Chiudinelli. Mahut won 23 of his 27 first serve points and capitalised on three of his five break point opportunities. He could face top seed and defending champion John Isner next.

Two-time reigning runner-up Olivier Rochus defeated Go Soeda 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Though Soeda won all but two of his first serve points, Rochus stepped in to win 62 per cent of his second serve return points to clinch just his second win in 11 matches since the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April.

In an all-American contest, Michael Russell beat Donald Young for the third time in four ATP World Tour meetings. Russell rallied past the seventh seed 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 to hand Young his 13th straight defeat, dropping him to a 2-16 record in 2012.

“I think I started serving better in the second and third sets, even though I was broken once in the second set. I felt more comfortable,” said Russell.

“In the first set, Donald was playing really well and I was a little out of sorts. He was doing that to me. I didn’t serve well and if you don’t on grass, it’s going to be a long day at the office. I knew he had to win two sets to win the match. Mentally I kept at it. I think that was the biggest factor.”

Dudi Sela was also victorious in first-round action, overwhelming Frank Dancevic 6-0, 6-2 in 51 minutes.

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