Nalbandian nails easy victory in Stockholm debut
See all the latest tennis news and results for the Stockholm Open.7 October 2008
STOCKHOLM -- Top seed David Nalbandian stormed to a fast-track debut win at the Stockholm Open as the Argentine crushed American Bobby Reynolds 6-1, 6-1 in the opening round on Tuesday.
The world number seven was joined as a straight-sets winner by two other seeds, number two, Mario Ancic and number five, Rainer Schuettler.
Ancic came back after losing in the first round last week at Metz, hammering out a first-round victory over Belgian Olivier Rochus 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.
Schuettler, playing the event at the Kungligahallen for the first time since 2005, overwhelmed the big serve of Australian Chris Guccione in a 6-0, 6-3 thrashing.
Nalbandian set a torrid indoor pace a year ago with back-to-back titles at the Madrid and Paris Masters events. He is playing as top seed in the place of Roger Federer, unsure of his schedule through the last weeks of the season.
The Swiss US Open champion withdrew last week, citing the fact that he wanted to conserve energy after the glandular fever scare which compromised the start of his season.
Federer is concentrating on January's Australian Open, where a title will secure him joint ownership of the record of 14 Grand Slam singles title along with Pete Sampras.
Nalbandian could find himself indoors for the next few months, with the regular ATP season followed by the Masters Cup, where he currently stands seventh in the eight-man qualifying field.
In addition, his Argentina will go indoors for the late November Davis Cup final in hopes of finding a way around the Spain of Rafael Nadal in the provincial city of Cordoba on fast hardcourt.
The top seed ran over 82nd-ranked journeyman Reynolds, also playing the event in the Swedish capital for the first time.
Nalbandian raced away to 5-0 in the first set before his American opponent saved a set point to finally hold in the sixth game. But there was no stopping the Argentine's momentum as he raced to victory with five breaks of serves.
Ancic, a 2007 quarter-finalist, rained down 19 aces in his rout of Rochus to take a 3-2 lead in their series. The victory was the 30th of the season for the Croatian who missed much of 2007 with illness.
Schuettler made a mockery of the big serve of Guccione, with Australia still without a Stockholm victory dating back eight years.
The number 88 was limited to six acres as he went down without a fighting 54 minutes. Schuettler, a Wimbledon semi-finalist in July, now stands 6-5 in Stockholm and will next face Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador.
By Bill Scott
[dpa / Expatica]