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Haas Ousts London Hopeful Almagro

Shanghai, China

Haas© AFP/Getty ImagesTommy Haas upset Nicolas Almagro in the first round.

Nicolas Almagro saw his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals dented on Monday as he suffered a first-round defeat at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Former World No. 2 Tommy Haas withstood 18 aces and saved seven of eight break points as he defeated the Spaniard 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.

The 27-year-old Almagro started the week at 10th in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London; he is bidding to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London for the first time. The Murcia native, a two-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season, dropped to a 53-19 match record.

The 34-year-old Haas has won 24 of his past 34 matches, helping him rise from outside the Top 200 at the start of the year to his current world ranking of No. 21. The German won his 13th ATP World Tour title at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle (d. Federer) in June.

Haas goes onto face another tour veteran, 30-year-old Tommy Robredo, who defeated Russian qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr., 7-6(4), 6-4 in just over two hours.

Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov dominated in a 6-3, 6-2 win over France’s Jeremy Chardy. The 24-year-old Dolgopolov claimed his 29th win of the season in 68 minutes as he converted three of the 10 break points he created and won 71 per cent of points on serve.

Italy’s Andreas Seppi set up a second-round clash with fourth seed Tomas Berdych after dismissing qualifier Michael Berrer of Germany 6-2, 7-6(5) in 88 minutes. Seppi was a recent runner-up to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Moselle Open final.

In first-round doubles action, American/German pairing Eric Butorac and Philipp Petzschner lost just seven points on serve in a 6-1, 6-0 rout of Thomaz Bellucci and Bernard Tomic. Butorac/Petzschner earned a clash with top seeds and last week’s China Open champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. Meanwhile, Treat Conrad Huey and Wimbledon champion Jonathan Marray overcame Chinese wild cards Mao-Xin Gong and Ze Zhang 7-5, 4-6, 10-6 in 83 minutes.

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