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Karlovic Fires Past Dimitrov; Ferrer Cruises

Paris, France

Karlovic© AFP/Getty ImagesIvo Karlovic, who reached the Dusseldorf final on Saturday, beat Grigor Dimitrov in the Roland Garros first round.

Just three days after contesting his first clay-court final for seven years, Ivo Karlovic has caused a big upset at Roland Garros.

In-form Karlovic hit 22 aces and lost just seven of his first service points to defeat No. 11 seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-5, 7-6(4) in just under two hours. It was the 40th clay match win of his career and avenged his loss to Dimitrov at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia two weeks ago.

On Saturday, Karlovic contested his first clay-court final since 2007 Houston. He lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Dusseldorf Open final.

Dimitrov, who was making his 15th appearance at a Grand Slam championship, won just 19 of 95 points on return of serve. He also lost in the first round on his Roland Garros debut in 2011 (l. to Chardy).

“It’s never easy to play against Ivo,” said Dimitrov. “Of course, it's a big disappointment for me. I liked my chances here. [I’ve] been playing good tennis on the clay courts, so I don't want to be too disappointed.

“He played really good. He came from playing a final last week and [was] really confident. [He] played really good tennis, serving well, and actually - all around the court - his shots were really good.

“It was a very tough task for me today, especially if everything was going his way. I just couldn't find my rhythm and I couldn't [convert] any of the little opportunities that I had in the match.”

The Bulgarian lifted his third ATP World Tour title at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy (d. Rosol) last month.

Watch Ferrer vs. Sijsling Highlights (Courtesy: French Tennis Federation)

Last year’s runner-up, fifth seed David Ferrer, reached the second round for the 12th straight year with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win over Igor Sijsling, who drops to 1-8 against players in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.

“It is nice coming back again to Roland Garros and playing on [Court] Philippe Chatrier. It was a bit windy on the court, so it was a bit difficult to hit the balls correctly. But I am happy, because I was focused [throughout] the whole match and very consistent, which is the most important thing.”

Philipp Kohlschreiber didn’t experience any letdown following his Dusseldorf title success. The No. 28 seed struck 36 winners to beat Pere Riba 7-5, 6-4, 6-1.

Watch Kohlschreiber Uncovered

Elsewhere, No. 32 seed Andreas Seppi beat Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell finalist Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 7-5, 6-3, while No. 16 seed Tommy Haas and No. 21 seed Nicolas Almagro both retired from their first-round matches due to injury. Haas had led Jurgen Zopp 5-2, while Almago had lost all five games he had played against Jack Sock.

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