Florent Serra withstood 20 aces to upset Robin Soderling, the fourth seed and two-time finalist, 6-4 6-7 6-2 in the opening round of the Memphis Championships on Tuesday. "It's a good victory indoors, [against] one of the best players on indoor courts," the Frenchman said. "I'm very happy because it's an important tournament here. I have to continue to play like this and play relaxed."
He added: "It was a very difficult first-round match for me. He served very strong. But I hit the ball very well." Serra hit 12 aces and won 79 per cent of his first-serve points to claim the win. He will play Israeli Dudi Sela in the second round. Sela beat the American Bobby Reynolds 7-6 6-2 in the first round. Juan Martin Del Potro, the second seed, opened play with a 6-3 7-6 victory over Argentine compatriot Guillermo Canas.
Former world No 1 Marat Safin was eliminated in the first round of the Marseille Open on Tuesday, losing 4-6 6-3 6-2 to the Frenchman Arnaud Clement. Despite serving 18 aces the seventh seed from Russia failed to match Clement's pace from the baseline. World No 78 Clement next meets German Mischa Zverev for a place in the quarter-finals. Four of the seven seeded players in action at the Copa Telmex, Buenos Aires, fell in the opening round on Tuesday, including two-time champion Carlos Moya and second-seeded Nicolas Almagro.
Moya fell to Argentinian qualifier Maximo Gonzalez 6-4 6-4. Almagro was eliminated by fellow Spaniard Oscar Hernandez 6-2 1-6 6-3. Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki avenged a loss in the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Jelena Dokic in the opening round at the Regions Morgan Championships at Memphis. Meanwhile Lleyton Hewitt has been recalled to lead Australia's Davis Cup team in their Asia/Oceania first-round tie in Thailand next month. Hewitt missed Australia's last Davis Cup tie against Chile in 2008 after hip surgery.
* With agencies