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Istomin, Benneteau Make Strong Starts

Sydney, Australia

Benneteau© Getty ImagesFormer finalist Julien Benneteau upset home hope Matthew Ebden in the first round.

Denis Istomin made a strong start to his Apia International Sydney campaign on Monday, dismissing Pablo Andujar 6-1, 6-2 in 58 minutes. The Uzbekistani set a potential second-round clash with Marin Cilic as he won 73 per cent of his service points and broke serve four times.

Julien Benneteau also raced into the second round, defeating home hope Matthew Ebden 6-2, 6-2 in 52 minutes. World No. 35 Benneteau has an 11-6 record at this ATP World Tour 250 tournament, finishing runner-up in 2012 (l. to Nieminen).

Lukas Rosol rounded out the day’s main draw action with a hard-fought 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(1) victory over Joao Sousa. The Czech prevailed in two hours and eight minutes as he converted three of his five break points.

In the final round of qualifying, Ryan Harrison, Jan-Lennard Struff, Blaz Kavcic and Sergiy Stakhovsky all earned main draw berths.

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