Top seeds Marcos Baghdatis and Jarkko Nieminen succumbed to early exits in the first two days of the Munich BMW Open whilst in Oeiras, Portugal, the favourites held their ground better.
Baghdatis has had a couple of tough months behind him winning only one out of his six last matches. However, as he was going up against qualifier Evgeny Korolev yesterday in Munich, most people expected him to win easily - but he did not. Instead he lost in straight sets in front of a small, but surprised crowd.
It was a tight affaire though, with the youngster from Kazakhstan winning more or less all the important points to seal one of his biggest wins ever 7-5 7-6 - as well as his first ATP Tour level win of this season.
Unlike Baghadtis, Jarko Niemien from Finland has left a couple of great tournaments behind him, but when facing Ernst Gulbis early on Tuesday morning, he was outplayed from the first point losing 6-4 6-2.
Grega Zemlja was another player to advance in style as he easily dismissed John Millman 6-2 6-2. He will therefore now face top seed Janko Tipsarevic in the next round.
In addition, Gael Monfils from France played one of his best matches in a long time beating Jurgen Melzer 6-3 6-3 in the last battle of the day. Melzer who has shown good form lately was given no chance by Gael.
Over in Oeiras, in the third match of the day on centre court, the star of the show was Tommy Robredo. He did just a few weeks ago win an equal tournament to this one after beating Kevin Anderson in the final. That was in Casablanca.
He was off to a frustrating start however, as his fellow countryman Daniel Gimeno-Traver won the opening set comfortable 6-2. Robredo, who was once ranked number five in the world, came back showing off great fighting spirit in order to seal the deal 6-2 5-7 3-6 in the end.
Speaking to atp.com after the match, Robredo said: “It is always good to play well, after an injury or not, but I am enjoying playing tennis again.
“I hope I can keep winning matches. Although my physical conditioning isn’t what it was, I still train the know-how that what I am doing is effective.”
Victor Hanescu, who is one of the oldest players on tour, showed no signs of being tired as he keeps winning matches week after week. On Tuesday afternoon he disappointed the Portuguese home crowd as he knocked out their local hope Rui Marchado in straight sets 6-4 6-4.
“The conditions were better today, no wind, but the court was a little heavy,” said Hanescu. “I am very happy with the way I played and stayed focus for the two sets. I have the experience and the game, but sometimes it is difficult to control the mind. The key is to play freely. The mental part is really important.”
The only upset in Oeiras during the first round was seeing Frenchman Julien Benneteu losing to rising star Cerrano-Busta. Busta has had a truly amazing year so far, but due to the fact that he is placed almost 200 ranking spots higher than Benneteu, the result of 6-3 6-4 in favour of the Spaniard was shocking.
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