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01-05-2010, 01:41 AM #1
Cilic overpowers Kunitsyn, Moya ousted in Chennai Open
The "baby" of the competition, Marin Cilic of Croatia blasted his way to a 6-2, 6-4 win against journeyman Igor Kunitsyn of Russia in just 73 minutes to enter the second round of the USD 400,000 Aircel ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament, here Monday.
Cilic, the 21-year-old 14th ranked Croat used his huge serves to maximum effect by pounding eight aces to overpower Kunitsyn.
Kunitsyn, 28, who fell to 101 after achieving a career-best ranking of 35 in July last year, struggled to stay in contention through the contest that saw Cilic, winner of two ATP titles, including the Chennai Open in 2009, in full flight as he peppered his opponent with powerful groundstrokes on both flanks.
It was all that Kunitsyn could do to stay afloat as Cilic punished his second serves with telling accuracy to race away with both the sets with two breaks of serve in the first and one in the second.
Cilic admitted, though not in so many words, that he did not encounter stiff resistance from Kunitsyn who, if anything, does not possess a powerful service game.
"I made the best of a few openings in the first set and then had an early break in the second after which I dominated the match. I am quite happy at the way I played," said Cilic.
He discounted thoughts that he was under any pressure as the defending champion and also due to the presence of top-10 player Robin Soderling who is the top seed.
"I don't think there is any pressure on me. I just concentrated on my game and not think of other players. All I know is that I have to win five matches to claim the title," he said.
Later, fourth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia handed out a 6-3, 7-6 (2) defeat to veteran Carlos Moya of Spain, a wild card entry.
The 33-year-old Moya showed glimpses of his game that in 1999 had made him No.1 ranked player (as against the current 446) on the back of the French Open title but could not sustain the momentum despite popular support.
The only occasion when the 25-year-old Tipsarevic looked in any kind of bother was in the second set. Moya broke for 4-4 and then led 5-4 and 6-5, but the Serb forced a tie-break that he clinched quite comfortably.
On the outside court, Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic put out sixth seed Simon Greul of Germany 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, in another first round match between players who spent much of 2009 on the Challenger circuit.
Gruel, the 28-year-old from Stuttgart, ranked 59, won the first set with a measure of comfort, but turned error-prone thereafter even as Hajek, 26, got his backhand going to take the next two and close the match in 107 minutes.
The results (Main draw):
Singles (1st round): 2-Marin Cilic (Croatia) bt Igor Kunitsyn (Russia) 6-2, 6-4; Jan Hajek (Czech Republic) bt Simon Gruel (Germany) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4; Santiago Giraldo (Colombia) bt Bjorn Phau (Germany) 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3; 4-Janko Tipsarevic (Serbia) bt Carlos Moya (Spain) 6-3, 7-6 (2).
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