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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kafelnikov Downs Mazarakis to Advance in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Second-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia advanced to the second round of the $950,000 Dubai Open with a 6-4, 7-5 victory Monday over Vasilis Mazarakis of Greece.

Top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero needed just one set to ease into the second round Tuesday when his opponent retired injured.

The defending champion broke serve to take the first set from Bohdan Ulihrach 7-5 before the Czech pulled out with tendinitis of the wrist.

Ferrero will next play in-form Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui.

Ulihrach had made the better start in very hot conditions in the Gulf state, holding two break points in the opening game and another at 1-1.

But he was unable to convert his opportunities, and Spain's Ferrero shook off his sluggish start to produce some sharp forehands and a series of aces.

Kafelnikov, the reigning Olympic champion, slipped back in the first set at 2-3 before breaking his opponent twice and then serving out the set without dropping a game.

Mazarakis, ranked 176 places below the world No. 4, was not overawed by his opponent, and played some long baseline rallies in the second set and saved three match points before netting a return.

"It was the first time I was playing him and he did not disappoint," said Kafelnikov, who served five aces and had four double faults.

"I could have played better but I am happy to win my first match outdoors as I had played two indoor events previously," said Kafelnikov, who celebrated his 28th birthday last week.

The Russian is keen to better his last year's performance when he was beaten by Swede Thomas Johannson, who won the Australian Open in Melbourne last month.

Fourth-seeded Grosjean jumped off to an intimidating start in his match Tuesday, speeding to a 4-0 lead before Koubek had a chance to settle.

It was not until the Frenchman was serving for the set at 5-2 that Koubek offered any real resistance, holding three break points before Grosjean finally served out to take the opener.

In the second set, Grosjean made a few more errors than before, but Koubek failed to put any real weight behind the ball and continued to hit unforced errors.

A long forehand gave Grosjean a break for 3-2, and that was followed by another break for 5-2 when Koubek netted an easy overhead.

"He made a lot of mistakes and he wasn't in good shape today," Grosjean said.

Grosjean will next play compatriot Fabrice Santoro, who beat Germany's Michael Kohlmann on Monday.

In other day two matches, Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic beat French veteran Cedric Pioline 6-3, 6-2, and Spain's Alex Calatrava overcame Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-3, 6-4.

In a night match Monday, unseeded German Nicholas Keifer knocked out Wimbledon champion and tournament No. 7 seed Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour, 13 minutes for his first ATP Tour win in four months.

Keifer, the 2000 Dubai champion, hit some forceful backhand returns to outgun Ivanisevic, who was also warned for racket abuse after losing his cool in the second set.

The Croatian took a 4-2 lead in the second set before being broken by Keifer, which led to Ivanisevic throwing his racket onto his rival's bag.

Known for his two-handed backhand returns, the German sealed the second set and match when an out-of-sorts Ivanisevic hit a return tamely into the net. Keifers' whipping forehand returns also caused trouble for the 31-year-old left-handed Croat. (Reuters, AP)