• Malisse cruises in 's-Hertogenbosch, De Bakker upset

    6/14/10 10:53 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Malisse cruises in 's-Hertogenbosch, De Bakker upset Xavier Malisse beats Rajeev Ram in straight sets on Monday in 's-Hertogenbosch. Malisse is joined in the second round by Igor Sijsling, who upset Thiemo De Bakker.

    Xavier Malisse caught a bit of a break at the UNICEF Open on Monday, getting to play lucky loser Rajeev Ram instead of Halle semifinalist Philipp Petzschner. Malisse capitalized by easing past Ram 6-3, 6-2 to reach the second round in just 51 minutes.

    Ram, who gained spot in the main draw as Petzschner pulled out with a hip problem, was competitive throughout the first set. The 92nd-ranked American dropped only six points in four service games, but the majority came in one game and his opponent earned a critical break. Malisse, who did not face a single break point the entire match, then served out the opening frame of play at 5-3.

    From there it was nothing more than routine for the 75th-ranked Belgian. He broke Ram twice in the second and lost a mere three points in four service efforts as he finished off the proceedings at 5-2 with no kind of trouble. Next up for Malisse is Daniel Brands.

    The Dutch fans were treated to a far more entertaining clash between two of their own countrymen. Wild card Igor Sijsling upset world No. 42 Thiemo De Bakker 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) in one hour and 44 minutes to book a second-round meeting with with either Kristof Vliegen or Sergiy Stakhovsky.

    After dropping a first set that featured three service breaks, Sijsling took care of his serve the rest of the way. The world No. 159 faced no break points in the second frame of play and both men saved the other's only chance during set three. Sijsling's dominance on serve continued in the decisive tiebreaker and he took it seven points to four.

    This is the 22-year-old's second ATP level victory of the season and second of his career.

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