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Nalbandian out of Acapulco

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:20

Nalbandian, also the top seed last week in Buenos Aires where he suffered a frustrating three-set loss to fellow Argentinian Juan Monaco in the semi-finals, was hoping for his second title of the season after winning last month in Sydney.

But after winning only 18-of-49 points and enduring three breaks in the opening set, Koellerer forged three break points of his own and won 16-of-28 return points in the second set to even the match.

Koellerer, who is seeking his first career title, was even better in the third set, winning 21-of-27 (78 percent) service points and saved all three break points he faced to take the match in 2 hours, 20 minutes.

The Austrian next will face Spain’s Alberto Martin, a 6-4 7-5 winner over Marcos Daniel of Brazil in the opening round.

Elsewhere defending champion Nicolas Almagro cruised to a 6-4 6-2 victory over Santiago Gonzalez during which he blasted 10 aces without facing a break point in a match that last 63 minutes.

Gael Monfils of France and Spaniards Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya also all advanced.

The 11th-ranked Monfils earned a 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 victory over French qualifier Olivier Patience, while Robredo extended his winning streak to 11 matches with a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 6-3 triumph over countryman Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo and eighth-seeded Moya fought for a 6-4 6-7 (2/7) 6-2 win against compatriot Pablo Andujar.

Argentina’s Jose Acasuso and seventh-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers also opened play with victories. Acasuso earned a care-free 6-3 7-5 win over countryman Brian Dabul while Granollers ousted Italian Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7/3) 7-5.

American Kevin Kim also advanced when Monaco, who won the opening set 6-1, retired after falling behind 3-0 in the second.

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