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Youzhny Upset In St. Petersburg; Gulbis Avoids Seeds Exodus

St. Petersburg, Russia

Gulbis© St. Petersburg OpenErnests Gulbis dropped just one game in his opener.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez denied second seed Mikhail Youzhny the chance to continue in his quest for a second St. Petersburg Open title on Wednesday, beating the 2004 champion 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round.

Garcia-Lopez is through to his fourth ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season after prevailing in just over two hours. He improved to a 6-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over Youzhny, who dropped to a 31-11 record in St. Petersburg.

"I felt very tired and had difficulty making myself move and [stay] focused," explained Youzhny. "My attention slipped out of control."

Serbia’s Davis Cup hero Janko Tipsarevic was upset in the first round. The third seed, who clinched the decisive fifth rubber against Canada at the weekend to put Serbia in the Davis Cup final, fell 7-6(4), 6-3 to Roberto Bautista Agut

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Bautista Agut saved eight of the nine break points he faced to beat Tipsarevic in one hour and 50 minutes. Victory for the Spaniard avenged the defeat he suffered to Tipsarevic in the Aircel Chennai Open final in January.

“I am very happy to be in the second round," said Bautista Agut. "It is a very important victory for me. Janko was a Top 10 player, so the fact that I won the match against him will give me confidence in the future."

Fifth seed Fernando Verdasco also made an early exit, falling 6-3, 6-4 to Sergiy Stakhovsky, the Ukrainian who famously ousted Roger Federer in the second round of Wimbledon this year. World No. 92 Stakhovsky claimed his first tour-level win since his stunning victory over Federer. He is looking to win the St. Petersburg crown for a second time, having triumphed as a qualifier in 2009 (d. Zeballos).

"The St. Petersburg Open is one of the few tournaments taking place in post-Soviet countries," he said. "I like playing here, speaking my own language. This tournament has always been special for me; I still remember my 2009 title."

Sixth seed Ernests Gulbis needed just 41 minutes to sweep into the second round. The Latvian won 70 per cent of his return points as he dismissed wild card Mikhail Elgin 6-0, 6-1.

The 25-year-old Gulbis reached the semi-finals on his tournament debut in 2006 (l. to Ancic) and is bidding to win his second ATP World Tour title of the season, following victory in February in Delray Beach (d. Roger-Vasselin).

Denis Istomin also avoided the seeds exodus. The No. 8 seed came from a set down to beat Andrey Golubev 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Seventh seed Lukas Rosol advanced with a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over Ricardas Berankis. The Czech ended a nine-match losing streak, which began with a first-round loss at Wimbledon (l. to Reister) in June.

Cermak/Polasek Reach QFs
Third seeds Frantisek Cermak and Filip Polasek reached the quarter-finals with a close 7-5, 7-6(6) victory over Italians Fabio Fognini and Paolo Lorenzi. They are bidding to win their first title of the season together. Meanwhile, second seeds Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau were upset by Dominic Inglot and Denis Istomin 6-4, 7-5.

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