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Haase, Soeda advance to second round at Chennai Open

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Associated Press
12/31/2012 1:04:42 PM
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CHENNAI, India -- Sixth-seeded Dutchman Robin Haase and eighth-seeded Go Soeda of Japan progressed to the second round of the Chennai Open with straight-set wins on Monday.

Haase overcame the challenge of local wild card Yuki Bhambri 7-5, 6-3 while last year's semifinalist Soeda defeated unheralded Russian Evegeny Donskoy 6-1, 6-2.

Haase, a two-time quarterfinalist here, won 78 per cent of his first serves and saved all four break points he faced.

The 25-year-old Haase returned to winning ways after finishing last season with a run of seven straight defeats. He will now face Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene in the round of 16.

"I was nervous at the beginning of the match but managed to stay with him," Bhambri said. "I also had opportunities and if I had taken them, the score could have been different. It was a good match against a top-50 player and it would have been incredible if I had won."

In the other match involving a seeded player, Soeda cruised as his opponent struggled to adjust to the conditions.

"This was a good start to the year, last year too this was a good tourney for me," Soeda said. "The performance gave me a lot of confidence as I'd reached the semifinals.

"I trained a lot during the off-season and that helped me move well on court."

In other matches, Frenchman Eduardo Roger-Vasselin defeated Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-4 and Aljaze Bedene of Slovenia knocked out Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-2.

Meanwhile, the four qualifiers advancing to the main draw were Rubens Bemmelmans of Belgium, Cedrik-Marcel Steebe of Germany, Rajeev Ram of the United States and Prakash Amritraj of India.

Robin Haase (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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