Youzhny thrashes Tomic, Baker defeats Stepanek in Basel

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Mikhail Youzhny needed just 56 minutes to see off Bernard Tomic, completely dominating the Australian in 6-0 6-2 victory. An early break set the tone for the match with Youzhny breaking on his third break point. Just eight points were lost by the Russian as he bagelled Tomic in a 23 minute set.

The second set would be more respectable with Tomic picking up two games but he could not make any inroads on the Youzhny serve at all, winning just one point on return. Serving 88% along with 5 aces in the second just showed how well he had been serving. A 2-1 lead for Tomic soon went away as Youzhny won the last 5 games in a row to book a second round match with Matthew Ebden.

Brian Baker came from a set and double break down to qualify for the next round, defeating Radek Stepanek 3-6 7-6 (5) 6-3. Two breaks in the first set helped Stepanek to one set lead but it wasn’t straight forward, with Baker threatening break opportunities three times including as the Czech served for the set.

When Stepanek took a double break lead in the second set at 3-0, it looked all over but Baker would reel off eight straight points to pull one of the breaks back. After holding for a 3-4 deficit, Baker then broke from 40-0 down to get back on serve. Neither player could break from then on in the set so it would be down to a tie break to decide. Stepanek would again find himself an extremely promising position only to blow it, losing six points in a row from a 3-0 lead with one mini break. Stepanek would save two set points but could not save the third as Baker forced a third set with a 7-5 tie break win.

Both players threatened early in the third to break, more so Baker who missed an opportunity to break in the opening game but he would eventually break through in game 5 at the third time of asking. He would fail to confirm the break but Stepanek would drop serve once more to allow him another chance. A fourth straight break looked likely when Baker fell 15-40 but he would hold his nerve and that would be enough as Stepanek dropped serve for the third straight time to exit the competition.

Baker will play Juan Martin Del Potro or Alejandro Falla in round two.

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