© ATP 250 EcuadorOpen

Janko Tipsarevic improves to 2-0 against Daniel Gimeno-Traver in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Tipsarevic Continues Climb To Top 100 In Quito

Serbian is making his main draw debut at the season's first clay-court event

Former World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic took a step closer to returning to the Top 100 on Monday with a first-round win against Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver at the Ecuador Open. The Serbian wild card advanced when Gimeno-Traver retired down 1-4.

The 32-year-old Tipsarevic started the year at No. 144 in the Emirates ATP Rankings but has climbed to No. 101 after winning back-to-back ATP Challenger Tour titles in Bangkok last month. He hasn't been inside the Top 100 since April 2014 when he was No. 94.

Tipsarevic, who's playing in his first ATP World Tour tournament since Moscow last October, will meet 2016 finalist Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil in the second round. Austrian Gerald Melzer hit 14 aces to knock off sixth seed Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(4). Colombian Santiago Giraldo won 77 per cent of his first-serve points to beat German Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-4.

Wild card Giovanni Lapentti, playing his final ATP World Tour event, rode home-crowd support to take down No. 7 seed Thiago Monteiro, of Brazil, 6-3, 6-2. The 34-year- old from Guayaquil, who reached a career-high No. 110 in 2005, announced his would retire after this tournament and had not won a match in two prior appearances.

Giovanni will team with brother Nicolas in doubles for the final time. Nicolas was ranked as high as No. 6 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in 1999.

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