BARCELONA: Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, Evgeny Donskoy of Russia, Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic and Inigo Cervantes of Spain all won in the first round of the Barcelona Open on Monday.

Stepanek was the highest-ranked player in action and the veteran Czech booked a second-round meeting with David Ferrer by beating Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 7-5.

Stepanek had to come through qualifying matches against Gerard Granollers and Christian Garin to earn a place in the first round.

Also, Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia turned his match around to beat Nicolas Almagro of Spain 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, while Albert Montanes beat Roberto Carballes Baena in an all-Spanish match.

Rising German star Alexander Zverev beat qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-3. Zverev will face Brazil’s world number 35 Thomaz Bellucci on Wednesday, the teenager’s 19th birthday.

Other first-round matches saw Russia’s 19-year-old Karen Khachanov advance after beating Aljaz Bedene of Britain.

KONTA FALLS IN STUTTGART

STUTTGART: British number one Johanna Konta suffered first-round disappointment at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Monday.

The 24-year-old was defeated in straight sets by Anna-Lena Friedsam in just 77 minutes in Stuttgart.

Konta lost 6-3 6-3 to the German wildcard who, at world number 52, is 20 places below her in the world rankings.

In the second match on Monday, Timea Babos of Hungary defeated Sabine Lisicki of Germany 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

The top-seeded player in the tournament is Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, while No 2 is Angelique Kerber of Germany, the Australian Open champion. Both have byes into the second round.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2016

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