Thursday, March 14, 2013
Baghdatis, Bellucci fall in first round
IRVING, Tex. -- The top two seeds in the $125,000 Dallas Tennis Classic were ousted in their first-round matches, opening things up for a field that includes three Americans among the 16 players to advance to Round 2.
Top-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus retired Wednesday afternoon thanks to wrist and shoulder trouble when trailing 7-5, 3-1 to Holland's Igor Sijsling. In the preceding match on stadium court, No. 2 seed Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil was ousted by Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky in a 6-2, 6-7 (10-8), 6-4 slugfest.
The exit of Baghdatis, ranked No. 35 in the world, creates an opportunity for American wild-card entry Bobby Reynolds, who won a three-setter over Japan's Tatsuma Ito in the first round and meets Sijsling in one of Thursday's eight singles matches at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas.
Stakhovsky, whose impressive power hitting against No. 38 Bellucci belied his current ranking of 108, meets No. 105 Steve Darcis of Belgium in Thursday's second round.
The other two Americans still alive alongside Reynolds (No. 166) are Denis Kudla (No. 160) and wild card Robby Ginepri (No. 294). In Thursday's play, Kudla faces Germany's 109th-ranked Matthias Bachinger and Ginepri -- in what looms as the day's marquee matchup -- takes on fifth-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria.
Ginepri and Melzer, along with the ousted Baghdatis, have the best singles resumes in the tournament as former members of the world's top 15 in singles. Kudla, meanwhile, advanced to Round 2 with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) escape against the Czech Republic's eighth-seeded Lukas Rosol, who famously ousted former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the second round at Wimbledon in 2012.
To highlight Thursday's doubles schedule, top-seeded Melzer and Philipp Petzschner of Germany meet the German wild-card duo of Benjamin Becker and Mischa Zverev. Becker starred at Baylor and Zverev recently made Dallas his home base.
Also Thursday, SMU alumni Adham El-Effendi and Darren Walsh meet France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Sijsling in a second-round doubles match. El-Effendi and Walsh are another wild-card team and scored a 6-4, 6-4 victory in the first round over Austria's Oliver Marach and Brazil's André Sá. El-Effendi also attended Greenhill School in Addison and Walsh came to SMU from England; Marach is ranked No. 44 in the world in doubles and Sa is 89th.
Further schedule and ticket information can be found at DallasTennisClassic.com.