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By James Waterson                                    Photo Credit: MELCHIOR A DI GIACOMO

(July 11, 2011) World No. 17 Mikhail Youzhny of Russia defeated 76th-ranked Philipp Petzschner of Germany 6-3, 6-3 Monday to advance to the second round of the MercedesCup in Stuttgart.

Youzhny broke twice in each set and kept the German from earning more than one break by winning 71 percent of his service points.

The Russian moves on to face former French Open champion and former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain, who beat 184th-ranked Bastian Knittel 6-2, 6-4 earlier in the day.

Ferrero, 31, has seen his ranking fall from repeatedly because of injury. In 2010, he fought his way back into the top 20, only to be sidelined once again. Now he’s ranked No 85 and he’s played only two tournaments this year.

The Spaniard has a 2-1 record against Youzhny, but the Russian won their only match on clay, which was at the 2007 French Open.

Youzhny was the only seeded player to survive the early matches, as second-seeded Jurgen Melzer, fifth-seeded Florian Mayer and sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko lost.

Melzer was defeated by 61st-ranked Santiago Giraldo of Columbia 6-4, 7-5, Mayer lost to 20-year-old Federico del Bonis 6-2, 6-3 and Davydenko fell to up-and-coming German wildcard Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

By beating Davydenko, Stebe won his first ATP Tour match in his career.  

 

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