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Hard-fought win for Tomas Berdych

— Photo: AFP

TOUGH OUTING: Soderling registered his first win of the year, beating Serra in three sets.

California: Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych advanced to the second-round of the SAP Open with a hard-fought 6-1, 6-7(5), 7-5 win over American Wayne Odesnik on Monday.

Berdych dropped just one game in the opening set, before Odesnik fought back. The Czech held a break point chance to make it 5-3 in the third set, but Odesnik held.

Odesnik fended off two more break points in the 12th game of the third set before Berdych converted on his third match point opportunity to win in two hours and 27 minutes.

“I got some break point chances in the last game and finally converted,” said Berdych. “He was playing really well from the second set on and it was a tough match. I am happy to get through it.”

Berdych next faces Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen, who rallied to beat German wild card Lars Poerschke 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

American Taylor Dent continued his comeback from a drawn out back injury by beating countryman Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-4, 7-6(2), while Argentine Leonardo Mayer downed Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis 7-5, 6-4.

In other matches, Israeli Dudi Sela beat Colombian Santiago Giraldo 7-6(2), 7-6(4) and Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin downed 17-year-old American wild card Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-5.

Earlier, former No. 1 Pete Sampras showed glimpses of his dominating best in a 6-3, 7-6(2) exhibition loss to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.

Soderling advances

At Rotterdam, Robin Soderling and Tommy Robredo advanced to the second round in the ABN Amro tennis tournament on Monday.

Soderling fired 26 aces and recovered from a set down to beat Florent Serra of France 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 for his first win of the year, while Robredo beat Dutchman Robin Haase 7-6(4), 6-4. Third-seeded Soderling was a finalist in Rotterdam two years ago when he lost to Michael Llodra, who returned this year unseeded.

In other matches, Florian Mayer defeated Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(6) and Andreas Seppi beat qualifier Stephane Bohli 6-1, 7-5.

The results (first round): At San Jose: SAP Open: Jarkko Nieminen bt Lars Porschke3-6, 6-3, 6-2; Dudi Sela bt Santiago Giraldo 7-6(2), 7-6(4); Denis Istomin bt Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-5; Leonardo Mayer bt Ernests Gulbis 7-5, 6-4; Taylor Dent bt Alex Bogomolov 6-4, 7-6(2); Tomas Berdych bt Wayne Odesnik 6-1, 6-7(5), 7-5

At Rotterdam: ABN AMRO tournament: First round: Marsel Ilhan bt Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-4; Andreas Seppi bt Stephane Bohli 6-1, 7-5; Florian Mayer bt Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(6); Robin Soderling bt Florent Serra 4-6, 6-4, 6-1; Tommy Robredo bt Robin Haase 7-6(4), 6-4.

At Costa do Sauipe, Brazil: Brazil Open: Albert Montanes bt Simon Greul 6-2 7-6(2); Daniel Gimeno-Traver beat Santiago Ventura 7-6(7) 6-1.

At Paris: Paris Open: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova bt Iveta Benesova 6-1, 6-0.

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