Yen Hsun-Lu handed Andreas Seppi his third consecutive first-round loss on Monday as he beat the Italian 7-5 1-6 6-4 at the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur.
Lu has not won a ATP-level match since reaching the second round of ATP Miami, almost two months ago, until yesterday. The sixth seeded Italian therefore once again lost a first round match as Lu advances into the second round.
In the second round, the 74th seeded Chinese will face Spaniard and in-form Pablo Andujar, who reached the semis of Madrid two weeks ago. Andujar did win his first round match through a tough three setter with former world no. 1 Lleyton Hewit 6-3 4-6 6-3 in two hours and 10 minutes.
Hewit who keeps dropping on the ranking list played his first match in over six weeks trying to prepare for the upcoming Grand Slam, in Paris.
Good friends and countrymen Carlos Berlocq and Leonard Mayer had an all Argentina affaire, which Berlocq won very comfortable 6-1 6-2. Mayer, However, has had many weeks away from the courts due to injury.
In addition, through to round two is Dutchman Robin Haase. He got the better of Hewit’s countryman, Marinko Matosevic, in straight sets winning 6-4 6-1 in just over an hour. Haase therefore sets up a second round clash with fourth seeded John Isner, who has only won one match in his three last tournaments. He did, however, open his clay court season by winning the ATP Houston.
In Dusseldorf, the best ranked player of the day, Jarko Niemien from Finland, played a brilliant game of tennis facing Lukas Lacko. Nieminen is still looking for his first clay court title ever, and with this comfortable win, 6-3 6-1, he is of to a perfect start.
"I feel good. I think I'm playing well," said Nieminen. "I think I played tactically pretty smart. It's really heavy conditions. I'm sure it wasn't my opponent's favourite conditions to play in, nor was it my favourite. You have to be patient, build up the points really well and not go for the winners too early."
Nieminen will now face Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Augut in the second round of Power Horse Cup in Dusseldorf. Bautista who lost his opening set versus gilles Muller, 6-2, battled very hard and pulled of a great comeback winning 2-6 6-4 6-2 in the end.
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