• Russian players fare well in St. Petersburg - [Sports news]

    2008-10-22 | Tag:St. Petersburg


        MOSCOW, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Second-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko, defeated Chris Guccione of Australia 6-4, 6-4 in the first round at the St. Petersburg Open on Tuesday.

        World No. 6 Davydenko, who recently qualified for Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai in November, recorded his 50th win of the season, highlighted by three ATP titles at Masters Series Miami, Poertschach and Warsaw.

        Third-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who is battling to qualify for the prestigious circuit finale to be held at the Qi Zhong Stadium in Shanghai from November 9-16, came through his first test with a 1-6, 6-4,6-3 win over Russian qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili in one hour and46minutes.

        Former champion and fourth-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny began his tournament campaign with a bang after defeating Ivan Navarro of Spain 6-2,6-1. Youzhny won 22 of 24 first service points and saved all three breakpoints he faced in the 56-minute victory. The World No. 24, who captured his fourth career ATP title at Chennai in January, improved to 28-20on the season.

        Kazakhstan qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin record his first win at an ATP tournament since April 2008 in Barcelona after beating No. 5 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) in two hours and 59 minutes.

        The 20-year-old Astana resident, who improved to 4-3 on the season, struck 10 aces compared to 19 for Cilic who captured his maiden ATP title at New Haven in August.

        Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, currently ranked 74th in the world, overcame No. 7 seed Mario Ancic of Croatia with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win in one hour and 55 minutes.