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Malisse Rallies For Opening Win

San Jose, U.S.A.

Malisse© Alex SmithXavier Malisse rallied from a break down in the third set to beat Go Soeda.

Eighth seed Xavier Malisse rallied from a break down in the third set to defeat Go Soeda of Japan 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 on Monday in the first round of the SAP Open in San Jose. The Belgian reached the semi-finals in 2001 and evened his event record at 8-8 as he fired 18 aces and broke serve four times to beat Soeda in one hour and 40 minutes.

"It was up and down a lot," said Malisse. "I haven’t played too many tournaments this year. I haven’t played since the Australian Open, so it’s going to be like that. No matter how many years you play, you have to get that match rhythm. 

"I came here and I wanted to win in the first round, and that’s accomplished," continued the 32-year-ol Malisse, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist. "Now, I’m feeling good. I have some time to practise a little bit. The more matches, the more rhythm. Of course, you come to every tournament to win. That’s the main goal. Only one person can win. Hopefully, I’ll be the last one to win here."

Canada’s Jesse Levine advanced to a second-round meeting with fourth seed Tommy Haas after beating American Bradley Klahn 7-5, 6-2 in 78 minutes. The 25-year-old Levine was a quarter-finalist at the Heineken Open in Auckland in the second week of the season (l. to Querrey).

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