MALAYSIAN OPEN 2013
Ferrer Advances; Baghdatis Sets Wawrinka Clash
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
by ATP Staff|
Top seed David Ferrer made a strong start to his Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur campaign on Wednesday, dismissing Matteo Viola 6-2, 6-3. The Spaniard slipped up when serving for the match at 5-2, but broke the Italian in the following game for victory in 73 minutes.
"It's not easy playing your first match after two weeks' rest, but I'm happy with my game and I won in two sets," said Ferrer. "I started very well, without many mistakes. After the first few games he played a good match and we had some good rallies."
Ferrer is looking to the Asian Swing to boost his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The 31 year old is fourth in the Emirates ATP Race To London, next in line to clinch his place in the eight-man field alongside Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Ferrer is a two-time semi-finalist in Kuala Lumpur and is aiming to win his third ATP World Tour title of the season.
Marcos Baghdatis set a second-round clash with Stanislas Wawrinka. The Cypriot defeated Carlos Berlocq 7-6(3), 6-3 to earn his 14th win of the season. "I was a bit stressed in the first few games. The first match is always tough," said Baghdatis. "But as the game went on I felt better and better, so I'm very happy I went through today and I'm looking forward to playing another match.
"I haven't had the year I wanted," said Baghdatis, who has suffered 12 first-round losses in 2013. "In the middle of the season it was very awkward and very strange. But I'm happy I went through today. I have a chance against Wawrinka. For sure he's having a great year and he's playing his best tennis. It will be very tough, but I'll have my chances and I'll try to find a way to take them and win."
Baghdatis and Wawrinka clashed last month in a four-set third-round contest at the US Open. Wawrinka prevailed before going on to reach his first major semi-final (l. to Djokovic). Baghdatis is bidding to reach the final in Kuala Lumpur for the second time, having finished runner-up in 2011 (l. to Tipsarevic).
Adrian Mannarino handed third seed Nicolas Almagro his fourth successive opening-round loss, beating the Spaniard 6-3, 6-3. The Frenchman broke serve four times as he reached his second ATP World Tour quarter-final of the year with victory in 76 minutes. Almagro last won a match on his run to the Hamburg semi-finals in July (l. to Fognini).
"It's one of the best victories of my career," said Mannarino. "I was really consistent tonight. I didn't miss much and I was playing pretty good, especially in the most important moments. I'm going to try to continue."
Sixth seed Dmitry Tursunov finished strongly to defeat American qualifier Rajeev Ram 7-5, 6-0 in 57 minutes. The Russian broke serve five times and lost just four points on serve in the second set as he improved to a 27-16 match record on the season. Fifth seed Julien Benneteau also advanced, beating Michal Przysiezny 7-6(6), 6-4.
World No. 59 Federico Delbonis reached his third ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season as he saved six break points to upset seventh seed Vasek Pospisil 7-6(2), 7-6(1) in one hour and 45 minutes. The 22-year-old Delbonis beat Roger Federer over the summer en route to his first ATP World Tour final in Hamburg (l. to Fognini).
"It was very tough. Vasek served good," said Delbonis. "But I took my chances in the tie-breaks."
Last week Joao Sousa reached his first ATP World Tour semi-final in St. Petersburg and he carried his good form into Kuala Lumpur, defeating Ryan Harrison 6-3, 6-2 in the first round. The Portuguese player is at a career-high World No. 77 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and claimed his 11th tour-level win of the season as he broke serve four times from 14 opportunities to beat Harrison in 81 minutes.
Austrians Upset Third Seeds
Austrians Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer ousted third seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky 6-2, 6-2 in the first round. “What a performance by the king aka @jknowle today!on fire!!!#solidstart #letskeepitup,” tweeted Melzer after the match, which saw the duo win 78 per cent of their service points to prevail in 56 minutes.