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Ferrer, Tipsarevic Advance; Monaco Ousted

Melbourne, Australia

Ferrer© Getty ImagesDavid Ferrer made a strong start to his Australian Open campaign.

Fourth seed David Ferrer was untroubled in his first-round match at the Australian Open on Monday, dismissing Belgium’s Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 50 minutes. The Spaniard hit 30 winners to just 17 unforced errors and broke serve six times from 15 opportunities.

The 31-year-old Ferrer has won eight of his first nine matches in 2013, reaching the semi-finals at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha (l. to Davydenko) before winning the Heineken Open title in Auckland for the fourth time last week (d. Kohlschreiber). He reached the Australian Open semi-finals two years ago, beating Rafael Nadal before losing to Andy Murray, and was a quarter-finalist last year (l. to Djokovic).

Eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic ended Lleyton Hewitt’s hopes of a dream run in his 17th Australian Open appearance, beating the 2005 finalist 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-3 in the Rod Laver Arena night session. The Serbian, who opened his 2013 ATP World Tour season with victory at the Aircel Chennai Open (d. Bautista-Agut), needed just over three hours to close out the 31-year-old Hewitt’s challenge.

"I think Lleyton Hewitt is as tough as it gets for a first round Australian Open [match], first Grand Slam of the year," said Tipsarevic. "I cannot tell you how happy I am, first of all, that I managed to win, and second of all, to win in straight sets. 

"I have confidence from two weeks ago, because I won an event. I really look forward to going deep in this tournament."

DEUCE: Janko's Transformation

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After losing the first set in a tie-break, Hewitt opened up a 3-0 double break advantage in the second set and served to level the match at 5-4. Tipsarevic fought back, though and reeled off six successive games to lead by two sets and 3-0 in the third. Hewitt rallied to level at 3-3, but was broken in the eighth game before Tipsarevic served out the win.

Adelaide native Hewitt’s best effort in 17 appearances at Melbourne Park came in 2005, when he finished runner-up to Marat Safin. He was looking to back up a run to the fourth round last year, when he fell to Djokovic. "I could have easily been up two sets to love," said Hewitt. "Against quality players, you have got to take those chances obviously. But to his credit, he raised his level and played some great points."

The first significant upset of the tournament came when World No. 79 Andrey Kuznetsov ousted 11th-seeded Argentine Juan Monaco 7-6(3), 6-1, 6-1 in just under two hours. The 21-year-old Russian had not won a match coming into the Australian Open, but broke serve nine times to record the biggest win of his career.

Kuznetsov next will face last week’s Apia International Sydney runner-up Kevin Anderson, after the South African rallied from a set down to defeat Italian Paolo Lorenzi 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-4.

Russian No. 23 seed Mikhail Youzhny inflicted a second year of heartache on Australian Matthew Ebden at Melbourne Park. The Russian rallied from two sets down and saved one match point at 4-5 in the fourth set as he prevailed 4-6, 6-7(0), 6-2, 7-6(4), 6-3 in just under four hours. Last year, Ebden surrendered a two-set lead in a second-round defeat to Kei Nishikori.

Jerzy Janowicz, the No. 24 seed from Poland, made his Australian Open main draw debut with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Italy’s Simone Bolelli. He goes onto face India’s Somdev Devvarman, who dismissed German Bjorn Phau 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Marcos Baghdatis, the No. 28 seed, was taken the distance by Spanish left-hander Albert Ramos in a taxing first-round win. The Cypriot, a runner-up in Melbourne six years ago (l. to Federer), fired 21 aces and hit 61 winners as he overcame the No. 51-ranked Ramos 6-7(0), 7-6(4), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in four hours and 15 minutes.

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