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Youzhny Makes Strong Start; Lacko, Lu Beaten In Openers

St. Petersburg, Russia

Bautista© Sergey NavetnyRoberto Bautista-Agut upset Yen-Hsun Lu to score the second tour-level win of his career.

Top seed Mikhail Youzhny made a strong start to his St. Petersburg Open campaign on Tuesday, dismissing Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 7-6(4), 6-1. The Russian capitalised on three of his five break points and won 75 per cent of points on first serve to clinch victory in 80 minutes.

The 30-year-old Youzhny has a 28-9 record at this ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard-court tournament and is bidding to reclaim the title he won in 2004 with victory over Karol Beck. He also reached the final in 2002 (l. to Grosjean) and 2010 (l. to Kukushkin).

Youzhny is bidding to rediscover his form this week having won just one match in five tournaments since reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals (l. to Federer).

Elsewhere, fifth seed Lukas Lacko and sixth seed Yen-Hsun Lu both lost in the first round.

World No. 69 Grega Zemlja converted five of seven break points to beat Lacko 6-3, 6-2 in 69 minutes. Lacko reached his first ATP World Tour final in February at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors (l. to Youzhny). The in-form Zemlja, who reached the third round at the US Open (l. to Tipsarevic) in between strong ATP Challenger Tour showings, claimed his seventh tour-level win of the year.

Lu was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut in one hour and 32 minutes. The No. 87-ranked Bautista-Agut claimed just the second tour-level win of his career as he converted five of his seven break point chances.

Bautista-Agut was joined in the second round by countryman Daniel Gimeno-Traver, who fired 10 aces as he dismissed France’s Florent Serra 7-6(5), 6-2 in one hour and 31 minutes.

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