Monday, May 19, 2008

Nikolay Davydenko and Jurgen Melzer Advance in Austria

Nikolay Davydenko
Nikolay Davydenko and Jurgen Melzer Advance in Austria

Top-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko knocked out Austrian wild card Rainer Eitzinger 6-1, 6-1 in just 59 minutes Monday, to take his place in the Hypo Group Tennis International second round.

Davydenko hit three aces, won 31 of 43 service points and coverted five of eight break point opportunities. The World No. 4 is making his seventh appearance at the tournament as has a stellar record with titles coming in 2005 (d. Melzer) and 2006 (d. Pavel), with a runner-up finish in 2003 (l. to Roddick).

Eitzinger, currently No. 268 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, drops to 0-2 lifetime against Top 10 players after losing to David Nalbandian at Vienna in 2005. The Stans resident was contesting his second ATP-level match of the year.

Last week's ATP Masters Series Hamburg semifinalist, Andreas Seppi, the Italian No. 6 seed, who is a career-high No. 32, came through a tricky opening match against Latvian Ernests Gulbis 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 41 minutes. Gulbis, who won seven more points than Seppi, hit nine aces, won 80 per cent of points on first serve.

Austrian Jurgen Melzer, the 2005 runner-up, knocked out American teenager Donald Young 7-5, 6-2 Monday for a place in the Hypo Group Tennis International second round.

Melzer converted six of 16 break point opportunities against the World No. 81, who has won back-to-back matches on the ATP circuit at Memphis and Indian Wells this season. The 26-year-old Melzer, who is making his eighth appearance at the event, lost to Russian Nikolay Davydenko in the final three years ago. He was also a semifinalist in 2004 (l. to Malisse) and twice a quarterfinalist in 2002 (l. to Lapentti) and 2006 (l. to Novak).

Spaniard Ivan Navarro recorded his first ATP win since Delray Beach in February, after defeating American World No. 108 Vince Spadea 6-4, 6-4 in 80 minutes.

Jiri Vanek, who reached the Estoril quarterfinals (l. to Gremelmayr) earlier in the 2008 European clay-court season, beat Dutch wild card Martin Verkerk 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 in one hour and 52 minutes. Verkerk was competing at his first ATP tournament since 2007 Roland Garros. The 29-year-old is winless on the ATP circuit since capturing his second ATP career title at Amersfoort in July 2004 (d. Gonzalez). He underwent right shoulder surgery in October 2004.

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AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer