Ram fends off De Voest
Originally published on: 26/02/10 13:04
The American, who is seeded fifth for the competition which is being played at Montecasino, struggled early on before clinching a battling 6-7 (3/7) 6-3 6-3 victory over Rik de Voest. Heavy showers during the early afternoon had delayed play, but organisers still managed to complete the full schedule, albeit just on midnight.
Ram and his South African wild-card opponent were the last pair on court and did not disappoint with a tussle that eventually went the way of the world number 83 – thanks largely to his booming serve, which saw him send down 16 aces and win 40 out of 52 first-serve points.
Laurent Recouderc also went through to the next round after the Frenchman had to fight from a set down to beat the determined Steve Darcis 3-6 6-3 6-4.
After battling with his Belgian opponent’s serve in the first set, he then managed to weather the storm winning by 14 out of 15 first-serve points to clinch the second set. The third set was a tight affair and went on serve until Recouderc clinched the battle on his second match point.
Slovakian Blaz Kavcic had earlier become the first player to seal a place in round two after also being forced to come from behind to overcome Frenchman Thierry Ascione 1-6 7-5 6-3.
The world number 117 was dominated through the opening set where he failed to conjure up a single break point, before storming back to win in exactly two hours.
Ascione’s compatriot, eighth seed Stephane Robert, also saw his match go the distance, but managed to prevail 3-6 6-2 6-2 against American Brendan Evans.
The 29-year-old will face the winner of Izak van der Merwe and Noah Okun in the next round. Israeli Okun was one of four players to book their place in the main draw after beating Roman Valent of Switzerland 6-3 7-5.
The other three were Filip Prpic from Sweden after his 6-1 6-3 win over Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer, Monaco’s Benjamin Balleret, who topped another Swiss player Alexander Sadecky 6-4 7-6 (10/8), and Fritz Wolmarans – a 4-6 6-2 6-2 winner over Frenchman Eouard Roger-Vasselin.