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Cilic advances in St. Petersburg Open

sports Updated: Oct 25, 2011 18:49 IST

Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia advanced to the second round of the St. Petersburg Open on Tuesday, while defending champion Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan made an early exit.

Kukushkin, who was looking for his second title, was beaten by Michael Berrer of Germany 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Julien Benneteau of France also advanced with a straight-sets victory over Pere Riba of Spain, 6-2, 6-1.

The 22nd-ranked Cilic, who is looking for his first title this season, beat Ukrainian qualifier Sergei Bubka 6-4, 7-6 (1). Cilic broke in the ninth game of the first set. Bubka saved five break points in the 11th game of the second set before the Croat prevailed in the tiebreaker to win on his first match point.

In a later match, Alex Bogomolov Jr. of the United States was to face Russia's Igor Kunitsyn.