SONY ERICSSON OPEN
Russell, Reynolds Win Qualifying Openers
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Former University of Miami tennis star Michael Russell rallied to defeat countryman Tim Smyczek 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of qualifying at the Sony Ericsson Open on Monday.
After dropping the opening set, the 20th-seeded Russell did not face a break point to advance in one hour and 54 minutes. The 33 year old is aiming to appear in the main draw for the fourth year in a row at Crandon Park, having successfully qualified in 2009 and 2011.
Fellow Americans Bobby Reynolds and Rajeev Ram also won their qualifying openers. Reynolds, the 13th seed, dismissed Simone Vagnozzi 6-1, 6-4, while Ram beat Mikhail Elgin 6-2, 6-4.
Third seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez was tested by Matteo Viola, before prevailing 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 against the Italian. Garcia-Lopez upset World No. 4 Andy Murray in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Benoit Paire, the fifth seed, topped American Alex Kuznetsov 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in 86 minutes. Paire qualified and reached his first ATP World Tour quarter-final in Auckland earlier this season.
Frank Dancevic continued his recent run of form, winning 89 per cent of his first serve points to knock out 16th seed Ricardo Mello 6-4, 6-4. Dancevic is coming off of a victory at the Dallas 2 Challenger.
Top seed Edouard Roger-Vasselin and No. 2 seed Tobias Kamke each moved into the final qualifying round via retirement after winning their opening sets.
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