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San Jose Open Tennis Championship: Qualifiers book dates with Monfils, Roddick

16 February, 2012

SAN JOSE: Qualifiers Dimitar Kutrovsky and Denis Kudla booked matches against the highest seeds at the ATP San Jose Open with three-set triumphs on Tuesday at the $531,000 indoor hardcourt event.

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Bulgarian Kutrovsky outlasted US qualifier Dennis Lajola 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) in a first-round matchup to book a second-round date with French top seed Gael Monfils. The Frenchman seeks his fifth career ATP crown after making a semi-final run at San Jose last year. Monfils and three other top seeds were given first-round byes. Kudla outlasted US wild card Jack Sock 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 and advanced to a second-round meeting with US second seed Andy Roddick, a three-time San Jose champion. Sock surrendered a break on his fifth double fault to give Kudla a 4-2 lead in the final set. Kudla smashed his eighth ace to hold for a 5-2 edge and held serve at love in the final game of the match. Luxembourg's Gilles Muller rallied to oust American qualifier Tim Smyczek 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 and book a second-round match against either American Ryan Sweeting or French fifth seed Julien Benneteau. World No. 70 Muller snapped a four-match losing streak with the win over Smyczek. Muller had not won a tour-level match since the beginning week of the season, when he advanced to the second round at the Brisbane International. In other matches, Steve Darcis of Belgium needed a pair of tiebreakers to defeat Steve Johnson of the USA 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5).

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