Croats Ljubicic, Ancic, Karlovic Win at ATP Beijing
Posted on September 13, 2006
Marcos Baghdatis provided the drama against Germany Denis Gremelmayr in the first round of the China Open on Tuesday.
Third-seeded Baghdatis recovered from a 4-1 deficit in the third set to win 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) in two hours and 11 minutes. The Australian Open finalist, currently No. 9 in the INDESIT ATP 2006 Race, was also 3-5 down in the tie-break.
Meanwhile, top-seeded Ivan Ljubicic led a Croatian charge, joining compatriots Mario Ancic and Ivo Karlovic in the second round.
Ljubicic came through against 21-year-old Go Soeda of Japan 6-4, 6-2 for his 50th ATP-level win of the season. The winner of ATP titles in Chennai and Zagreb this year is ranked No. 5 in the INDESIT ATP 2006 Race with 416 points and is a strong contender for one of the six remaining places at the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.
Fourth-seeded Ancic, returning to the ATP circuit for the first time since Wimbledon, also continued his push in the race to Shanghai. He survived a tricky first test against Feliciano Lopez in their third career meeting.
Ancic, currently No. 10 in the INDESIT ATP 2006 Race, beat Lopez 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 54 minutes to improve his season match record to 41-13 that includes one ATP title in 's-Hertogenbosch from three finals (Auckland, Marseille).
Seventh-seeded Karlovic, another member of Croatia's Davis Cup and ARAG ATP World Team Championship winning team, joined Ancic.
Karlovic won his first match since reaching the Roland Garros second round in May, firing down ten aces and broke Mikhail Ledovskikh's serve twice times for a 6-2, 7-6(2) win in one hour and 14 minutes.
Ledovskikh was playing only his third career ATP-level match and first since the 's-Hertogenbosch in June. Karlovic improves his season record to 17-19 and will now play Danai Udomchoke of Thailand in the second round.
Two qualifiers Satoshi Iwabuchi of Japan and Slovenian Luka Gregorc also won.
Second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko, writing a blog for ATPtennis.com this week, plays his first round match against Dane Kenneth Carlsen on Wednesday.
-- Courtesy ATPtennis.com