St. Petersburg, Russia, Oct 25: Top-seeded Gilles Simon and third-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov made early exits in the first round of the St. Petersburg Open on Monday.
Adrian Mannarino rallied to beat his fellow Frenchman Simon 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, while Dolgopolov was upset by Israeli wild card Dudi Sela 6-2, 6-2.
Earlier, fifth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia advanced to the second round, beating Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-3, 7-6 (7), while Potito Starace of Italy defeated Russian wild card Ivan Nedelko 6-0, 6-1.
The 12th-ranked Simon, who was making his debut at the event, trailed by a break in each set. He broke Mannarino three times to claim the first set, and also leveled at 1-all in the second.
But the 86th-ranked Mannarino, who is yet to win a title, broke once more to level the match and then again in the third set before closing out the win on his third match point.
“It was a tough match. I had some opportunities, I was one set up,” Simon said. “He (Mannarino) saved three break points and played better then me in the end of the second set and in the beginning of the third.
“Finally I managed to keep my serve every time but I didn't manage to put pressure on his serve and I finally lost.”
The 97th-ranked Sela broke Dolgopolov twice in each set to hand the 16th-ranked Ukrainian his second successive early exit after Jeremy Chardy of France ousted him in straight sets in Moscow last week.
Youzhny, who won the tournament in 2004, broke early in each set. Stakhovsky, the winner here two years ago, managed to break back in the second for 2-all and then force a tiebreaker. Youzhny closed the match on his second match point.
“It was a tough match although I managed to break early in each set, “ Youzhny said. “Stakhovsky had a set point serving at 6-5 on a tiebreaker but I returned well.”