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Youzhny and Troicki battle through in St. Petersburg

19 September 2017 20:05

Mikhail Youzhny's love affair with the St. Petersburg Open continued on Tuesday as the former champion eased through his first-round meeting with John-Patrick Smith.

Youzhny has reached the quarter-finals on nine occasions since his debut appearance in 2001, and took the first step to extending that record with a 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 win over the Australian qualifier.

Having staved off early pressure from Smith, Youzhny then saw two openings disappear in the eighth game of the match, the world number 112 needing a tie-break to move ahead.

He finally broke his opponent midway through the second set and, when serving for the win, he converted a second match point to progress to a round-two meeting with third seed Fabio Fognini.

The only seed in action on the second day of competition, Viktor Troicki, had to dig deep to beat Andrey Kuznetsov 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-2).

Troicki needed a sixth set point to move ahead in a tie-breaker, and despite finding himself 2-0 down in the second he rallied to complete a straight-sets win.

Liam Broady joins Youzhny and Troicki in the last 16 after a comprehensive 6-3 6-0 win over fellow qualifier Ernests Gulbis, while Ricardas Berankis had to battle back from a set down to beat Daniel Masur 3-6 6-3 6-2.

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