Former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis beat local wildcard entry Nick Lindhal 6-2, 7-5 on Monday to reach the second round of the Sydney International, a key warmup tournament for the season’s first major.
Baghdatis, who lost the 2006 Australian final to Roger Federer, only got one-third of his first serves into play, but was only broken once in the match and broke Lindhal’s serve twice in each set.
In other men’s first-round matches, Frenchman Richard Gasquet beat Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-4, Potito Starace of Italy beat Frederico Gil of Portugal 6-1, 6-4, Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas held off Frenchman Michael Llodra 6-2, 7-6 (1) and Andreas Seppi of Italy defeated Marinko Matosevic of Australia 6-4, 6-4.
“It’s for sure a good start, because Lopez is a great player, and he has a great serve,” Gasquet said. “I played well last year with semifinal in this tournament, so I’m happy to be there and to win the first match.”
The draw opened up in Gasquet’s bracket when his compatriot, top-seeded Gael Monfils, withdrew from the tournament earlier Monday morning due to an injured right shoulder and was replaced by Spain’s Daniel Gimeno-Travers, who initially missed out in qualifying.
Seventh-seeded Jelena Jankovic went out in a 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 first-round loss to Hungarian Agnes Szavay in the women’s draw, while Elena Vesnina advanced when fellow Russian and eighth-seeded Vera Zvonareva retired at 3-3 in the first set.
Flavia Pennetta, who lost the final at Auckland on the weekend to Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, beat Australia’s Hopman Cup representative Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-1, Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska beat American Jill Craybas 6-0, 6-4 and Aravane Rezai of France beat Anna-Lena Gronefeld of Germany 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2. — Sapa-AP