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Federer To Face Karlovic In Miami Opener

Miami, U.S.A.

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Roger Federer will begin his Sony Open Tennis campaign against Ivo Karlovic after the 6’11” Croatian edged French qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6(3), 7-6(5) in first-round action Wednesday in Miami.

Neither Karlovic or Mathieu faced a break point on serve during the one hour, 40-minute match. Karlovic fired 21 aces to take his season total to a circuit-best 308 for the season.

Federer leads Karlovic 10-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, with his sole loss coming in a third set tie-break at the 2008 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Karlovic will be looking for his second win over a Top 10 player this season, after opening his 2014 campaign with victory over a seventh-ranked Tomas Berdych in Doha.

Federer, a two-time Miami champion, will be making his first tournament appearance since 2012, when he lost to Andy Roddick in the third round.

Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez defeated Tunisian qualifier Malek Jaziri 7-6(9), 6-1 to set a second-round meeting with ninth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Gonzalez, 25, recorded his first tour-level wins last week in Indian Wells, where he reached the third round on his Masters 1000 debut.

Matosevic Fellow Colombian Alejandro Falla was unable to maintain his strong start in a 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(6) loss to Australian Marinko Matosevic in two hours and 25 minutes. Matosevic next meets Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the No. 20 seed, whom he lost to in five sets at the Australian Open.

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Colombian No. 1 Santiago Giraldo also lost just one game in the opening set, only to fall to Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 1-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Czech Radek Stepanek needed just 57 minutes to defeat German Daniel Brands 6-3, 6-0. Meanwhile, 20-year-old countryman Jiri Vesely beat Italian Filippo Volandri 6-4, 7-6(1).

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