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Top Seed Berdych Claims Opener in Washington; Isner Falls To Johnson

Washington, U.S.A.

Berdych© Getty Images SportTomas Berdych won his ninth ATP World Tour title in Rotterdam in February.

Top seed Tomas Berdych opened his campaign for a first Citi Open crown with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Robby Ginepri in the second round on Wednesday evening.

In Berdych’s first tournament since a run into the Wimbledon third round earlier this month (l. to Cilic), the Czech wild card won 21 of 25 first-serve points (84 per cent) and broke the American qualifier four times in five opportunities to advance in 68 minutes.

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"I felt good on the court. My goal was to be focused, especially after having a few weeks off," said Berdych. "I'm happy to be back on the hard courts. This is my favourite surface and suits my game the most."

The 28 year old is seeking his first North American tour-level title at the William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center. This season, he claimed his ninth ATP World Tour title in Rotterdam (d. Cilic), in February, and finished runner-up twice, in Dubai and Oeiras.

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The World No. 5 goes on to play 13th seed Vasek Pospisil, a 6-0, 7-6(8) winner over qualifier Rajeev Ram. The 24-year-old Canadian, ranked 36th in the Emirates ATP Rankings, did not drop serve during the 98-minute contest.

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Fifth seed John Isner, who won the BB&T Atlanta Open last week (d. Sela), could not capitalise on his one-set lead, falling 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(6) to fellow American Steve Johnson. Johnson weathered 29 aces from his 6'10" opponent and did not drop serve to advance in two hours and seven minutes in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. Johnson will meet ninth seed Ivo Karlovic in the third round.

Isner finished runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro in last year's Citi Open final and also played for the title in his debut in 2007 (l. to Roddick). The No. 1 American entered this week's ATP World Tour 500 tournament as the leader in the Emirates Airline US Open Series standings, which tracks performance at five ATP World Tour events leading up to the US Open, held next month in New York City. The top three leaders in the series' standings are eligible for up to $1 million in bonus prize money at the year's final Grand Slam.

Sixth seed Richard Gasquet also advanced to the Round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Atlanta runner-up Dudi Sela. The Frenchman improved to 3-0 against the Israeli, winning 73 per cent of his service points and defending four of five break points he faced. Gasquet will battle American Tim Smyczek for a place in the quarter-finals.

Strong Start In Washington For Bryan Brothers
Top seeds and three-time champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan defeated wild cards and fellow Americans Jared Donaldson and Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 6-0 at the Citi Open on Wednesday. They will next face another American duo, Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey, who clinched two tie-breaks 7-6(3), 7-6(4) over Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen.

Second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares also reached the quarter-finals after edging Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot 7-5, 7-6(5), setting up a meeting with Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, who defeated Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra 7-6(7), 6-3.

Fourth seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo needed a Match Tie-break to edge Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 4-6, 7-6(8), 10-8. Also advancing to the quarter-finals were Sam Groth and Leander Paes, 6-1, 7-6(4) winners over Jeremy Chardy and Robert Lindstedt.

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