Thu, May 24, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Peruvian unknown ousts Ivan Ljubicic in Austria

RESISTANCE Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic fell to Peru's Luis Horna, while Russian top seed Nikolay Davydenko and Australian Lleyton Hewitt advanced with easy victories


Luis Horna of Peru upset third-seeded Ivan Ljubicic 7-6 (5), 6-4 on Tuesday in the second round of the Hypo Group International.

The No. 7-ranked Ljubicic produced 10 aces and missed the only break point in the first set, but lost the tiebreaker 7-5 to Horna, who is ranked 82nd.

Horna lost only two points in his service in the second set, using an early break to seal the victory.

Fourth-seeded Lleyton Hewitt defeated Sergio Roitman of Argentina 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the second round.

"I have been playing really well lately," Hewitt said. "A lot of people wrote me off after my first-round exit in Rome, but you can never write me off."

Earlier on Tuesday, Nikolay Davydenko started his title defense with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain.

The top-seeded Davydenko dominated throughout, facing little resistance from his Spanish opponent.

"It's great to start with a comfortable win, but I don't know if I was playing well," Davydenko said. "I had too many unforced errors in the first set, and he didn't really fight for it in the second set. This was no real test for my current form."

In the second round, Davydenko will face Ecuador's Nicolas Lapentti, who defeated Martin Verkerk of the Netherlands, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Juan Monaco of Argentina also advanced, upsetting sixth-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-3, 6-1 in a match that finished just before rain interrupted play in Poertschach for more than an hour.

Melzer said he was thrown off his game by a disputable line call while serving at 3-4 in the first set. After that, he won only one more game in the match.

"I got distracted by that decision, for sure," said Melzer, who split from long-term coach Karl-Heinz Wetter last week. "But in the end, I don't think it influenced the outcome of the match too much. Monaco was better and dictated the pace of the game."

Top-seeded Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams advanced at the Istanbul Cup on Tuesday to continue their preparations for next week's French Open.

Sharapova, who missed two scheduled tournaments this year because of various injuries, beat Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-4, 7-6 in the second round to advance to the quarter-finals.

The fourth-seeded Williams routed Tatiana Poutchek 6-1, 6-2 in the first round.

Williams, the 2005 champion, will meet Aravane Rezai of France in the second round of the US$200,000 clay-court warmup for Roland Garros.

"I haven't played at any grand slams this year but that will be a great place to start," said Williams, who missed this year's Australia Open because of injury.

Patty Schnyder beat Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然) 6-1, 6-1 to set up a second-round meeting with Vania King of the US.

Catalina Castano of Colombia defeated sixth-seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld 7-6, 6-2, while Meghann Shaughnessy of the US beat eighth-seeded Sania Mirza India, 6-4, 6-3.

Fifth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France breezed past Australian player Nicole Kriz 6-1, 6-0 on Tuesday to advance to the second round of the US$175,000 Internationaux de Strasbourg.

In other matches involving seeded players, No. 6 Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain beat Yuliana Fedak of Ukraine 6-4, 6-3, while Italy's Maria Elena Camerin eliminated 10th-seeded Nicole Pratt of Austraia 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Australia's Alicia Molik needed two-and-a-half hours and 12 aces to subdue New Zealand's Leanne Baker 7-6 (3), 2-6, 7-6 (5), while Tatjana Malek of Germany took only 44 minutes to dispense with France's Emilie Bacquet, 6-0, 6-1.

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