Tursunov advances in 3 sets at Indy

July 22, 2009 09:24 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Top-seeded Dmitry Tursunov needed three sets to beat Michael Berrer of Germany in the first round of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships on Tuesday night.

Tursunov, the runner-up here a year ago and winner at Indianapolis in 2007, returned to action after a 2½-week layoff and won 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.

He had leads of 3-0 and 5-1 in the first set before losing momentum and losing eight of 11 games through one stretch late in the first set and early in the second. The Russian converted only 48 percent of his first serves.

"It was my first match back," said Tursunov, who benefited from 16 double faults by Berrer. "It's definitely difficult to go from not having to focus for a certain amount of time. I was playing well the first set, then I got a little bit tired. My mind started to wander a little bit.

"It really didn't take much. Obviously, he picked up his game as well."

After winning the final six games of the second set, Berrer took Tursunov to deuce once in the final set.

Second-seeded Dudi Sela of Israel, fourth-seeded Igor Kunitsyn of Russia and fifth-seeded Benjamin Becker of Germany also advanced.

Sela of Israel beat American Vincent Spadea 7-5, 6-1.

"It's my first time on hard court in four months," said Sela, last week helped Israel upset Russia in a Davis Cup quarterfinal. "I'm happy to be in the second round. I had a good performance in Davis Cup last week, so hopefully, it's (all) up."

Sela, who began 2009 ranked No. 105, is 17-13 this season with a current career-high ranking of No. 29.

"Obviously, it's a good year for me -- my best year so far," the 24-year-old Sela said.

Kunitsyn beat Brian Dabul of Argentina 6-4, 6-1, Becker beat Go Soeda of Japan 6-2, 6-3, and Argentinian Eduardo Schwank upset No. 6 seed Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Tursunov next will play the winner of Wednesday's first-round match between American Taylor Dent and Marcos Daniel of Brazil.

"I'm not expecting to to win this tournament and I'm not expecting to get to the semifinals," Tursonov said. "I understand the situation I'm in currently. I'm very vulnerable on the court in a lot of things. I'm really not going to try to put any more pressure on myself and put the expectations of getting to a certain round. My main concern is to play consistent tennis."