Indianapolis: Fragile Russian top seed Dmitry Tursunov received an unexpected confidence boost as Michael Berrer made 16 double faults in a 6-3, 2-6, 6-0 loss at the ATP Indianapolis Championships.
Tursunov, who won the Eastbourne grass title but lost in the Wimbledon first round a few days later, was hardly the picture of confidence, but he was not complaining at the end of the opening-round victory over his German opponent.
"I'm not serving that great now, as I haven't played since Wimbledon," said Tursunov. "I can hit two or three good shots and then a bad one. But today he served terrible and that helped me.”
"I'm not playing that well myself right now - but I have to be patient."
Tursunov, the 2007 Indy champion and last year's runner-up to absent Frenchman Gilles Simon, will next face either American Taylor Dent or Brazil's Marcos Daniel, who had trouble getting a timely air flight from Colombia where he won a Challenger at the weekend.
Surprising second seed Dudi Sela continued his recent red-hot pace as the Israeli sent home American veteran Vince Spadea 7-5, 6-1.
The number 29 who helped his nation to a Davis Cup quarter-final upset of Russia after playing in the Wimbledon fourth round is taking full advantage of the highest tournament seeding of his career.
With most Europeans unwilling to travel to the US to start the hardcourt season a full six weeks before opening day at the US Open, willing outsiders like Sela are making up the numbers for the next few events.
"I may have been fifth or sixth before, but never second," said 24-year-old Sela. "When you are ranked 29th, it's not normal to be seeding this high.”
"But I'll take it. I think my game has really been improving a lot recently. I'm just playing more solid," he said after advancing in an hour and a quarter.
Spadea, who recently turned 35, was a finalist here in 1999. He also lost to Sela on hardcourt in Washington last summer.
Russian Igor Kunitsyn, member of the defeated Russian Davis Cup side, is another unlikely seed who shined, earning a defeat of Argentine Brian Dabul 6-4, 6-1.
German fifth seed Benjamin Becker stopped Go Soeda, a Japanese qualifier, 6-2, 6-3.
Two American journeyman booked spots in the second round. Qualifier Jesse Levine beat Thai Danai Udomchoke 6-1, 7-6 (12/10) while Alex Bogomolov stopped Italy's Flavio Cipolla 6-2, 6-3 to next face Sela.
First Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2009, 09:22