Davydenko wallops Harrison
Kuala Lumpur - Russia's former world No 3 Nikolay Davydenko spoiled Ryan Harrison's Asian debut with a 6-3, 6-2 win over the American teenager to advance into the second round of the Malaysian Open on Tuesday.
Fifth-seed Davydenko won the debut edition of the indoor tournament in 2009 when he was among the tennis elite. While his ranking is now down to 36th, the 30-year-old still showed his 19-year-old opponent how the game is played.
The veteran Russian took less than 90 minutes to win, breaking serve seven times and sending Harrison to join defeated compatriot Ryan Sweeting.
Sweeting went down to South African Rik de Voest 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at the Putra stadium.
Harrison did not show as much of the promise he had displayed in his home performances over the summer on hardcourts when he reached back-to-back semi-finals in Atlanta and Los Angeles.
Davydenko, however, admitted he had some problems before collecting the win.
"I was winning the long rallies in the beginning but at 4-0, I started to get tired and couldn't hold the same level," he said.
"I lost my serve quite easy and my legs were getting heavy. I tried to do everything to survive and win the match. It doesn't matter how you feel or play, you just have to win.
"The court and the balls are slow here. It was really tough to hit any winners."
In other matches, Japan's eighth seed Kei Nishikori staged a comeback to oust Teimuraz Gabashvili 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Philipp Petzschner returned to the court for his first match since winning the US Open doubles crown, beating fellow German Mischa Zverev 7-5, 6-3.
Petzschner improved to 4-0 in the series and leaves Zverev with a 2-18 mark on the season.
"It's great to get through the first match," he said.
"The tournament is really nice. Some of the European players are having problems with the jet lag a little bit, but I'm really happy with my performance on court today."
Petzschner and his Austrian partner Jurgen Melzer, who is seeded fourth in the Kuala Lumpur singles competition, have won two Grand Slam doubles trophies in as many seasons together, triumphing on grass at Wimbledon in 2010.
There were erratic moments in Petzschner's victory at the Putra stadium, as the 66th ranked player got off to flying start against Zverev, 170th in the world, but lacked the clinical edge to close out the first set.
"I started really well, had a break point for 5-0 in the first set and didn't make it. Then I played a terrible game at 4-2 and all of a sudden it's close again.
"But I played a solid end of first set and then as well in the second set, without facing any break points."
India's Somdev Devvarman defeated Russian Mikhail Ledovskikh in two tight sets 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to set up a second round tie with former Australian Open finalist and world No 60 Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus.
"I'll have to play really good tennis to beat him. I will have to play aggressively against him because if he gets on the front foot he's very tough to beat," said No 89 Devvarman, a finalist this season in Johannesburg.
Pole Lukasz Kubot overcame Czech Lukas Rosol 6-3, 6-3.
Spain's Albert Ramos lined up a second-round tie with fellow countryman and top seed Nicolas Almagro, playing the tournament for the first time, as his opponent Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan retired trailing 4-6, 6-3, 4-2.
Results on the second day of the Malaysian Open on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):
Philipp Petzschner (GER) bt Mischa Zverev (GER) 7-5, 6-3
Albert Ramos (ESP) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 4-6, 6-3, 4-2 retired
Somdev Devvarman (IBD) bt Mikhail Ledovskikh (RUS) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Lukasz Kubot (POL) bt Lukas Rosol (CZE) 6-3, 6-3
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS x5) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 6-3, 6-2
Rik de Voest (RSA) bt Ryan Sweeting (USA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN x8) bt Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
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