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Pospisil Advances; Cuevas Upsets Davydenko

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Cuevas© Getty ImagesPablo Cuevas upset former champion Nikolay Davydenko.

Seventh seed Vasek Pospisil recovered from a slow start to defeat Victor Hanescu 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 on Tuesday in the first round of the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur. The Canadian broke serve four times as he claimed the comeback victory in one hour and 44 minutes.

A year ago, Pospisil was ranked World No. 122 and reached the quarter-finals as a qualifier. After a breakthrough summer, though, including a run to the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal (l. to Raonic), the 23-year-old Pospisil is now a Top 40 member and looking to reach his first ATP World Tour final this week.

World No. 457 Pablo Cuevas claimed just his second tour-level win of an injury-hit season as he ousted 2009 champion and eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4.

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Cuevas is playing just his fifth tournament of the season, having struggled with a knee injury and missed all of 2011, and saved six of seven break points as he defeated Davydenko in 84 minutes. Former World No. 3 Davydenko won the inaugural edition of this ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard court tournament in 2009 (d. Verdasco).

"I'm very happy," said Cuevas. "I've only played four tournaments this year. Winning a match at an ATP World Tour 250 and against a great player like Davydenko, I am very happy."

Looking to reach his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since April 2011 in Estoril, Cuevas will face Ryan Harrison or last week’s St. Petersburg Open semi-finalist Joao Sousa.

Top seed David Ferrer will face qualifier Matteo Viola in his opening match after the Italian beat Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 6-3. World No. 140 Viola will play a Top 10 player for the first time as he bids to reach his second ATP World Tour quarter-final.

One of the ATP World Tour’s rising stars, Pablo Carreno Busta, marked his Kuala Lumpur debut with a 7-6(5), 6-0 victory over Alex Bogomolov Jr. The 22-year-old Spaniard has risen to a career-high World No. 66 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after starting the year at No. 654. He won seven  Futures titles before stepping up to win four ATP Challenger Tour titles and was also a semi-finalist on the ATP World Tour at the Portugal Open (l. to Wawrinka).

Qualifier Mischa Zverev earned a second-round clash with fourth seed Jurgen Melzer after beating Horacio Zeballos 7-6(5), 6-2. Zverev holds a 2-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over over Melzer, beating the Austrian earlier this year at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Benneteau/Zimonjic Reach QFs
Second seeds Julien Benneteau and Nenad Zimonjic reached the quarter-finals on their Kuala Lumpur team debut, defeating Yuki Bhambri and Syed Mohd Agil Syed Naguib 6-2, 6-2 in 54 minutes. The French/Serbian duo is currently ninth in the Emirates ATP Race To London and looking for valuable points this week. 

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