MEMPHIS, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Jeff Morrison led seven Americans Monday into the second round of the $860,000 Kroger St Jude indoor tennis event.
Morrison notched his first ATP victory of the season when he ousted fourth-seeded Wayne Ferreira of South Africa, 7-5, 6-4. He had been 0-3 on the circuit this season, but last month reached the quarterfinals at a Challenger event in Dallas.
"It feels very good to get my first win of the year," said Morrison, 24, who won the 1999 NCAA singles title for the University of Florida. "I played (Yevgeny) Kafelnikov in the Australian Open and (Nikolay) Davydenko in San Jose, and lost two tight matches after playing well, so it's nice to play well and get a win under my belt because that's what this game is all about."
Ferreira was playing his first match since reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open.
"I hadn't played a match indoors this season," he said. "The balls are so light and fast, and he's coming at you all the time. There aren't many people who (serve-and-volley) anymore, so it's tough."
Eric Taino, a qualifier, ousted No. 8 Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4, and Morrison's roommate, Mardy Fish, rallied past another qualifier, Julien Varlet of France, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
"I knew I had to play pretty solid to beat him," said Fish, who recorded 20 aces. "I tried to stay positive and not throw my rackets around because it doesn't help me when I do that. He got pretty tight at the end of the second set, which was uncharacteristic of him."
Also, Brian Vahaly topped Germany's Lars Burgsmuller, 6-3, 6-4, and Robby Ginepri beat Sargis Sargsian of Armenia, 6-3, 6-4.
Other men's winners were Georgian Irakli Labadze, who beat Jean-Rene Lisnard of France, 7-5, 6-4, and Swedish qualifier Magnus Norman, who lost the first set to Davydenko, 6-4, but advanced when the Russian retired because of a left wrist injury.
On the women's side, wild card Carly Gullickson recorded a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory over fellow American Lindsay Lee-Waters in her first WTA Tour match.
"I was very happy out there today," said the 16-year-old daughter of former major league baseball pitcher Bill Gullickson. "I was nervous, but I managed to keep it together. It's very different and much tougher than playing in the junior events. I'm pleased that I came through and I can't wait to play my next match on Wednesday."
In another all-American matchup, qualifier Tara Snyder dispatched wild card Tanner Cochran, 6-3, 6-1.
No. 3 seed Amanda Coetzer of South Africa avoided a three-match losing streak with a 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 triumph over Germany's Angelika Roesch; Korean Yoon Jeong Cho topped Mashona Washington of the United States, 6-4, 6-4; and Stephanie Foretz of France downed Marie-Eve Pelletier of Canada, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.