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Last year’s runner-up bowes out

Last year’s runner-up bowes out
Muller, the 31-year-old southpaw from Luxembourg and ranked 42, survived two tough tie-breaks, while Roger-Vasselin, after taking the first set, gradually faded against an opponent who improved as the two-hour and 23-minute match progressed.

On the outside court, Spaniard Marcel Granollers became the first casualty as the seventh seed retired in the third set against Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer who was leading 3-6, 7-6(6), 2-0.

Muller’s enviable variations in his serves besides aggression made the difference while Roger-Vasselin failed to sustain the high standards he had displayed in the first set and parts of the third before committing a double fault on the very first match-point. There was nothing to separate the two in the first set that went with serve leading to the inevitable tie-breaker.

The 31-year old Roger-Vasselin, ranked 116 as against his high of 38 last year, served that bit better in terms of angles while Muller had the power but not the consistency in his first serves. Yet, neither came close to breaking serve as they slugged it out from the baseline. In the tie-break, Roger-Vasselin blew four set-points as against two by Muller. At 10-10, the Frenchman came up with a forehand to move ahead 11-10. Roger-Vasselin also earned the next point to pocket the set that lasted a little over an hour.

Results Main Draw (first round): Gilles Muller (LUX) bt Eduard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 6-7(11), 6-1, 7-6(3); Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 3-6, 7-6(6), 2-0 (retd).
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