Moya Tripped by Qualifier at ATP Barcelona

Posted on April 25, 2006

Former Roland Garros champ Carlos Moya's claycourt campaign hit a new low Monday when the former No. 1-ranked Spaniard was ousted in the first round in Barcelona by a qualifier, unheralded Russian Evgeny Korolev.

At No. 35 on the ATP Rankings, Moya entered Barcelona at the sixth-highest ranked Spaniard, even with a claycourt title early in the year at Buenos Aires. Since winning Buenos Aires in February, Moya has failed to reach the quarterfinals in four events, also losing in the first round last week at the Masters Series-Monte Carlo.

Korolev entered Barcelona ranked No. 159.

Other upset victims were (11) Igor Andreev, who failed to convert match points in a three-set loss to fellow Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili; (14) Dmitry Tursunov who was fed a bagel in a three-set loss to Spanish wildcard Carlos Cuadrado; and the annually clay-challenged (16) Paradorn Srichaphan who was straight-setted by Spanish qualifier Ivan Navarro Pastor.

Seeded winners Monday were (10) Juan Carlos Ferrero (d. Vliegen), and (13) Gael "Force" Monfils (d. (Q) Galvani), improving to 2-6 on the year.

Brit-Scot Andy Murray (d. (WC) Granollers-Pujol from a set down) was a high-profile unseeded winner, joined by Spaniard Feliciano "F-Lo" Lopez (d. (Q) Klec from a set down) who next meets Rafael Nadal, and (WC) Al Costa (d. Spadea 6-1 in the third) competing in his last career event.

"I didn't do anything that well," Murray mumbled to reporters. "I didn't have any big first serves and didn't do much with my forehand or my backhand. I didn't play well, it was good just to come through."

Highlights of Tuesday play on the dirt are (9) Berdych vs. Montanes, Almagro vs. (13) Monfils, (5) Ferrer vs. Murray, (3) Coria vs. (WC) "Julio &" Galo Blanco, and Vik vs. (12) Fernando "Hot Sauce" Verdasco.