Underdog topples seventh seed Klizan

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 17:39 07/01/2013

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Underdog Belgian Xavier Malisse got one back for his countrymen, outlasting seventh seed Martin Klizan in a three-set upset today.

In the second match on a blustery opening day of the Heineken Open, Malisse survived a spirited fightback from Klizan, Slovakia’s top ranked player, to hang tough and claim a 7-6 (5) 3-6 6-3 victory on centre court.

World No.30 Klizan - 2012 newcomer of the year - was favoured to advance to tomorrow’s second round.

The 23-year-old launched a strong comeback after dropping the first set, winning five games in a row to force a third set, but then dropped his bundle, once more.

Fourteen-year journeyman Malisse showed greater composure and temperament in the conditions to take the final set and close out the match in just over two hours.

BELLUCCI ADVANCES

After looking odds on, miniature Belgian ace David Goffin blew a chance to oust eighth seed Thomaz Bellucci, crashing out in straight sets today.

The pint-sized, baby-faced Goffin displayed a wide array of shots in the first set as he rapidly built a 5-3 lead.

From there, it went downhill quickly for the promising 22-year-old, who had taken a set off Roger Federer at the French Open.

Bellucci coped better with the testing, blustery conditions, winning the next five games, and the first set tie breaker, to swiftly wrap up the match 7-6 (2) 6-2 in one hour 13 minutes.

Once the Brazilian, who has three singles titles, had a sniff of victory he didn’t let up. There was a ruthless streak to his booming forehand winners.

Goffin’s head slowly dropped as his early anticipation, shot making deserted him before the collapse was compete.

HEINEKEN OPEN SCHEDULE

Centre court

From 12pm

Benjamin Becker (GER) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)

David Goffin (BEL) v [8] Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)

[7] Martin Klizan (SVK) v Xavier Malisse (BEL)

[WC] Olivier Rochus (BEL) v Albert Ramos (ESP)

Not before 7pm

[5] Jerzy Janowicz (POL) v Brian Baker (USA)

[1] Colin Fleming (GBR)/Bruno Soares (BRA) v [WC} Dan King-Turner/Michael Venus (NZL)

Court No 2

Jesse Levine (CAN) v Frederick Nielsen (DEN)

Court No 4

Matwe Middelkoop (NED) v Igor Sijsling (NED)

Victor Hanescu (ROM) v Greg Jones (AUS)

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