• Ljubicic, Clement bounced in Belgrade

    5/7/09 8:29 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Ljubicic, Clement bounced in Belgrade Seeds Ivan Ljubicic and Arnaud Clement lose in the second round of the inaugural Serbia Open on Thursday. They are upset by Marcos Daniel and Flavio Cipolla, respectively.

    Marcos Daniel d. (6) Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 6-3

    Daniel needed just one hour and 17 minutes to stun Ljubicic and reach the quarterfinals of the Serbia Open on Thursday afternoon. Ranked 53rd to Daniel's No. 120 ranking, Ljubicic struggled early against his underdog opponent due to dreadful serving. The two players exchanged one break of serve each en route to Daniel taking a slim 5-4 lead. Serving to stay in the first set, Ljubicic got broken for a second time to fall in a surprising hole. The 6'4'' Croat made just 45 percent of his first serves in the opening frame of play and lost 10 of 16 second-serve points. Ljubicic picked up the pace on serve in set two, but the No. 6 seed made little headway in his return games. Daniel served at 77 percent in his last five service games and did not face a single break point in the second set. One break was enough for the Brazilian to give himself a chance to serve out the proceedings at 5-3, and did so in routine fashion. This is Daniel's second win at the ATP level in 2009, having come into Belgrade without a single match victory for the season. Next up for the surprising quarterfinalist is fourth-seeded Andreas Seppi, a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Leonardo Mayer.

    (Q) Flavio Cipolla d. (7) Arnaud Clement 1-6, 6-4, 6-2

    Cipolla's impressive week in Belgrade continued with a three-set win over Clement on Thursday afternoon. This is the second straight match in which Cipolla has stormed back after losing the first set 6-1, as he upset Marcos Baghdatis 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round. Once again the 5'5'' Italian looked overmatched early. Cipolla had no answer for Clement's aggressive play and he won just 36 percent of the points even when he put his first serve in play in the opening set. The underdog qualifier struggled to seize the momentum in the second frame of play, giving back an early break. The turning point finally came, however, with Clement serving to stay in the set at 4-5. A backhand mistake by the 31-year-old Frenchman gifted the break and the set to his opponent. Cipolla never looked back in the decisive third, breaking immediately for a 2-0 advantage. Realizing that he could win simply by keeping the ball in play against an error-prone Clement, Cipolla was content to spin in his serves with absolutely no pace and as a result he made 23 of his last 24 first serves. Clement still got a look at two break points in set three, but he missed both chances. Another break for Cipolla allowed the world No. 122 to cruise the rest of the way, right into the Belgrade quarterfinals. Cipolla awaits either Brian Dabul or No. 2 seed Ivo Karlovic.

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