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Stepanek Reaches Hard-Court Milestone In Bogota; Pospisil Advances

Bogota, Colombia

Stepanek© Claro Open ColombiaRadek Stepanek records his 200th win on hard courts.

Fourth seed Radek Stepanek claimed his 200th match win on hard courts, Wednesday at the Claro Open Colombia in Bogota. The 35-year-old Czech, a winner of five hard-court titles, defeated Argentine Guido Pella 7-6(2), 6-2 after one hour and 42 minutes.

Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, making his first appearance since winning the Wimbledon doubles title (w/ Sock), beat American Alex Kuznetsov 7-5, 7-5 to book his place in the quarter-finals. The third seed saved all three break points faced on serve and converted two of his four chances.

Pospisil will next face Australian Bernard Tomic, who knocked out fifth-seeded Colombian Alejandro Falla 6-1, 7-6(2). Falla has reached the final last year in Bogota (l. to Karlovic).

Pospisil’s countryman, Peter Polansky, opened the day’s proceedings by prevailing against Colombian qualifier Nicolas Barrientos 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. It marked his first tour-level win since the 2010 US Open (d. Monaco).

Polansky will next play eighth seed Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic. Estrella Burgos advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Argentine qualifier Juan Ignacio Londero.

Also in first-round matches, Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez, the sixth seed, swept past Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-4 in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. British qualifier James Ward led 6-4, 3-0 when No. 7 seed Matthew Ebden retired with a hand injury. Chinese Taipei’s Jimmy Wang, meanwhile, beat Pole Michal Przysiezny 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3. 

In doubles, fourth seeds Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski teamed up to beat Estrella Burgos and Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6(4), while Barrientos and Juan Sebastian Cabal edged Facundo Arguello and Michael Quintero 6-4, 4-6, 10-4.

In the evening's final match, second seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky couldn't capitalise on a late second-set comeback, losing to Adil Shamasdin and Divij Sharan 6-2, 7-5 in 70 minutes.

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