Baghdatis advances to second round in Auckland
10 Jan 2017 - 20:00
Auckland: Marcos Baghdatis shrugged off injury concerns to reach the second round of the ATP Auckland Classic with a tough straight sets win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino yesterday.
The eighth-seeded Cypriot showed no sign of an ankle injury that forced him to retire from last week's Qatar Open, moving freely in his 6-4, 6-4 win at the Australian Open warm-up tournament in New Zealand.
But the world number 36, a former Australian Open finalist, struggled with a misfiring serve, going down a break to Mannarino early in the first set.
He immediately broke back and the pair went toe-to-toe, with Mannarino fending off one set point during a 41-shot rally but eventually succumbing.
Baghdatis said it was good preparation for the season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne.
"I was solid through the baseline, I think I could improve on my serve a bit."
Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun beat rising star Karen Khachanov 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (11/9) in a roller-coaster match that saw the world number 61 squander four match points before finally downing the towering Russian.
Fifth-seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas crashed out in a straight sets defeat to Joao Sousa of Portugal. New Zealand's last local hope Artem Sitak lost to France's Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-2.