Second seed Marin Cilic began his PBZ Zagreb Indoors campaign strongly on Monday, defeating Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the second round of the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament.
The Croatian fired 12 aces, won 74 per cent of points on serve and converted three of six break points as he won his first match in three meetings against the 31 year old. He next faces another Frenchman, 57th-ranked Florent Serra, who battled to a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2) win over compatriot Marc Gicquel.
Zagreb resident Cilic is returning to the tennis event for his fourth appearance and is bidding to advance past the second round for the first time. The 20-year-old right-hander opened the 2009 season in fine form, winning his second ATP World Tour title at Chennai (d. Devvarman) before reaching the Australian Open fourth round (l. to del Potro).
Top seed Igor Andreev suffered his second first round exit of the 2009 ATP World Tour season at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors on Tuesday. The Russian, who also lost to Marin Cilic at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in 2006, suffered a 6-1, 6-4 defeat to World No. 425 Ivan Dodig in 75 minutes.
It was the Croatian qualifier’s first ATP World Tour win and he now goes on to meet either Russian qualifier Dmitry Tursunov or Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. The 24 year old was competing at his first ATP World Tour tennis tournament since February 2008 when he made a first round exit in Marseille (l. to Djokovic).
Andreev, currently No. 21 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, made a third round exit at the Australian Open (l. to Blake). He made a first round exit at Doha (l. to Youzhny) in the first week of the 2009 ATP World Tour season.
Russian Evgeny Korolev cruised past fifth-seeded Austrian Jurgen Melzer with a 6-4, 6-0 win in 57 minutes and will now face Croatian wild card Antonio Veic. Melzer, No. 32 in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings, drops to 3-4 on the season.
Serbian Viktor Troicki also knocked out a seeded player, No. 8 seed Simone Bolelli of Italy, with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in 85 minutes to set up a second round clash with 2006 champion and local favourite Ivan Ljubicic.
Defending champion Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine got off to a winning start when the World No. 82 hit nine aces past Slovakian qualifier and tour veteran Dominik Hrbaty for a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win in one hour and 50 minutes.