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Tennis | ATP

Ferrer advances at Qatar Open

Top-seeded David Ferrer survived a scare from German qualifier Dustin Brown, coming back to win 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the second round of the Qatar Open on Tuesday.

The fifth-ranked Spaniard struggled early against Brown's serve and his net play. With the first set level at 5-5, Brown hit a great drop volley and then broke Ferrer when the Spaniard hit a shot into the net. Brown closed out the set with a crosscourt volley winner.

But it was mostly all Ferrer after that.

The Spaniard saved two break points in the opening game of the second set to go up 1-0 and then got a lucky break when the match was delayed 50 minutes when a hole was discovered behind the baseline.

Soon after the resumption of play, Ferrer seemed energized. He broke Brown to go up 3-1 to take control of the set as the Spaniard began figuring out Brown's booming serve. The German also hurt his cause with a growing number of unforced errors.

With the matched tied at one set apiece, Ferrer broke Brown twice to go up 3-0. Brown broke back to make it 3-1 but Ferrer held firm. He broke Brown a third time to take a 4-1 lead, helped by a strong service game and several winners off Brown's serve.

"He played a very good game. He served very good," Ferrer said of the 167th-ranked Brown. "In the first set it was 5-all. I didn't serve so good, and he played better than me. Well, I tried to fight every point and finally I won."

Second-seeded Richard Gasquet had far less trouble with Czech veteran Jan Hernych, beating him 6-3, 6-4.

Gasquet had a nervous start but managed to save two break points in the first set before breaking the 193rd-ranked Hernych. The Czech broke back only to see Gasquet break him for a second time on the way to winning the first set.

The second was more straightforward for Gasquet, as the 10th-ranked Frenchman broke Hernych in the first game to close in on the win.

"I'm happy to win the first match of the year. It's never easy, always tense," Gasquet said. "The first five games were difficult for me. I was near to be broken, and he didn't do it. And I felt more confidence in my game, and I tried to focus on my serve. I'm happy with the way I played. It's good to win."

Another Frenchman, Gael Monfils, who reached the finals here last year, made easy work of Qatari wildcard Mousa Shanan Zayed 6-0, 6-3. The win was not as important for Monfils as his successful return to the court following a season cut short by knee problems. Monfils, who has a career-high ranking of No 7, has fallen to 77th.

"Well, I think it was a good start, a good start," Monfils said.

Fifth-seeded Jeremy Chardy was not so lucky, falling to German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-4, 6-4. He was one of two seeded players to lose, after Lukas Rosol beat eighth-seeded Pablo Andujar of Spain, 6-2, 7-6 (2).

Fourth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia also struggled but was able to come from a set down to beat Benjamin Becker of Germany 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1. It was the 25th-ranked Russian's 400th ATP victory.


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