Malisse and Ebden win first round matches in LA

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Fifth-seeded Xavier Malisse, Matthew Ebden, and Igor Sijsling all managed to survive the opening round of 2012 Farmers Classic tournament. Sam Querrey got a bye in the first round.

32-year old Belgian Malisse, a Wimbledon semifinalist from ten years ago, was a clear favorite against the young American Nicolas Meister. In the first set, however, he had to work hard to confirm that role. The result was level at 4-4 when Meister lost his serve after a marathon game, which enabled Malisse to finish off his opponent with his next serve. The second set proved to be a formality as Malisse won three break points, kept all of his serves, and ultimately won with 6-4, 6-1.

Australian Ebden and German Michael Berrer were not more than fifty places apart on ATP rankings before their Los Angeles first round match. It was thus a very competitive encounter that was to be decided in the tie-break of the third set. 24-years old Ebden then converted his first match point after little more than 2 hours of play. The scoreboard said: 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4). Ebden will confront Malisse in the second round.

The clash between Dutch Sijsling and another domestic player Steve Johnson remained tight in the opening set. Both of the athletes held on to their serves up until the tie-break, and only a mini-break point won by Sijsling could separate them in the end. Similarly, the Dutch won the second set after breaking Johnson’s serve in the sixth game. The end result 7-6 (4), 6-3 means that Sijsling will be matched up against the second seed Querrey in the next round.

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