Thu, Sep 24, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Ljubicic and Gasquet advance at Open de Moselle


Former champion Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia barely got past qualifier Sebastien de Chaunac of France 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1) in the first round of the Open de Moselle on Tuesday.

The eighth-seeded Ljubicic, who won the title in 2005, hit 21 aces to set up a match with Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.

Tipsarevic beat 2003 winner Arnaud Clement of France 6-4, 6-4.

The Serbian broke Clement once in each set and relied on a solid serve, winning 80 percent of his service points without allowing any break opportunities.

Richard Gasquet of France saved two break points at 5-5 in the third set to outlast Michael Berrer of Germany 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

The Frenchman is trying to rediscover his form after the International Tennis Federation banned him for two-and-a-half months for testing positive for cocaine at a tournament in Miami in March.

Gasquet said he inadvertently ingested the drug by kissing a woman in a nightclub.

Gasquet will next face Christophe Rochus of Belgium, who edged fifth-seeded Fabrice Santoro of France 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Sixth-seeded Benjamin Becker of Germany was also ousted, as Evgeny Korolev of Russia converted all of his four break chances to win 6-2, 6-3.

Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan defeated Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-4, Marc Gicquel of France cruised past Roman Valent of Switzerland 6-3, 6-1, and qualifier Thierry Ascione upset Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (5), 6-4 in an all-French matchup.



Oscar Hernandez knocked out top-seeded Victor Hanescu of Romania 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the first round of the BCR Open Romania.

The unseeded Spaniard broke three times and dropped serve twice at BNR Arenas as Hanescu lost in the opening round for the second straight year.

He was beaten by Martin Vassallo Arguello of Argentina last year.

Another unseeded Spaniard, Santiago Ventura, beat fourth-seeded Igor Andreev of Russia 6-4, 6-1.

“I played well and I feel excellent on the court,” Ventura said. “Andreev is a good player and it’s hard to beat him.”

Second-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain also advanced, defeating Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-4, 6-3.

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