Starace wins in straight sets in Morocco

April 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM
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CASABLANCA, Morocco, April 5 (UPI) -- Seeded players Potito Starace and Fabio Fognini each claimed first-round victories Tuesday at the Grand Prix Hassan II tennis tournament in Morocco.

Starace, seeded fifth, landed 81 percent of his first serves and lost only 10 points on serve in a 7-5, 6-2 win over Daniel Brands. Starace faced one break point in 10 service games.

The seventh-seeded Fognini was pushed to a third set before escaping a challenge from Gerard Granollers-Pujol 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Fognini had five aces but also 10 double faults. However, he converted seven break-point chances.

Filippo Volandri was a 7-5, 6-3 victor over Julien Benneteau while Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo topped Rui Machado 7-5, 6-1 and Federico Gil beat Simone Bolelli 6-3, 6-1 in other first-round matches.

Also moving into the second round were Michael Berrer, who swept past Nicolas Devilder 6-3, 6-3, and Andrey Kuznetsov, who beat fellow qualifier Sergio Gutierrez-Ferrol 6-1, 7-6 (7-5). Blaz Kavcic advanced when Reda El Amrani, who was leading 4-3, retired because of injury.

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