Thu, May 01, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Nalbandian vows to lift his game after sloppy win

AGENCIES , BARCELONA, SPAIN

Argentine David Nalbandian returns the ball to countryman Agustin Calleri during their match at the Barcelona Open in Barcelona on Tuesday.

PHOTO: EPA

David Nalbandian made a shaky start on Tuesday at the Barcelona Open before eventually overcoming his demons with a win over a fellow Argentine.

The third seed managed a tortured 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 second-round victory against compatriot Agustin Calleri, playing the event for the eighth time.

“I’m not happy at all with my match,” said Nalbandian, winner of his eighth ATP title this spring in Buenos Aires.

“It was windy and it’s so tough to play a Davis Cup teammate,” he said. “I have to really lift my level. I must improve day by day if I’m to even think about going much farther.”

Seventh seed Murray was upended in unceremonious fashion as Croatian Mario Ancic took 6-4, 6-4 revenge in their second-round clash after losing February’s Marseille final to the British No. 1. But after winning a pair last week in Monte Carlo, late wild card entry Murray admitted that he was barely motivated in his match-up with Ancic.

“I didn’t get that fired-up,” said the Scot, back in the Top 20 but far from his former Top-10 status. “I was going to be here practicing anyway, so I had hoped to get a few matches.”

Murray spent his junior days in Barcelona but finds himself still unable to compete consistently well on the surface. His only win here came in 2006.

“I was flat at the start, but my priority is to train for Rome and Hamburg. I wanted to continue form last week, but [playing here] is not the be-all and end-all,” he said. “I’ve now got four or five days to get ready for Rome. It and Hamburg are the most important ones going into the French Open. All of the major players should be there, which was not the case last week.”

Former French Open finalist Guillermo Coria took a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili.

Spanish seeds advanced without difficulty as their opponents failed to finish.

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