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Bumpy ride for seeded players

A few favourites for title at Chennai Open did have a rough ride, but finally sailed into the second round.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 12:53 IST

Top seed Ivan Ljubicic of Crotia quelled a strong challenge from Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez as seeded players took their appointed places in the second round of the Chennai Open ATP Tennis Championshipon Tuesday night.

Playing in the last match of the day at the center court, which ended past midnight, Ljubicic ran into stiff resistance from Garcia-Lopez, semifinalist last year, but prevailed for a 7-6(6) 7-5 win in a 130 minutes duel.

World No.9 Ljubicic, who got a wild card entry after Rafel Nadal of Spain pulled out due to injury, claimed the first set in the tie-break after all 12 games went on serve. The second set saw more action with players trading breaks before Ljubicic managed to break the Spaniard in the 11th game for the third time.

The top seed later said he was still happy with the way he played. "I am extremely happy. I feel really good. From match to match it is going to get better," he said while explaining the three-week break after he led his country to its first ever Davis Cup title.

Earlier, defending champion Carlos Moya of Spain got a scare before coming back to post a 6-4 3-6 6-1 win.

In the other first round matches, fourth seed Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand quelled the challenge of a fighting Ramon Delgado (Paraguay) 4-6 6-1 7-6 (3), fifth seed Gilles Muller (Luxumberg) beat Razvan Sabau (Romania) 6-2 7-6 (5) and sixth seed Rainer Shuettler of Germany scored a straight set 6-4 6-3 win over Fernando Vicente of Spain.

First Published: Jan 04, 2006 11:38 IST