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Defending champ Karlovic upset by qualifier at Delray tennis open

Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria volleys with Dudi Sela of Israel Monday afternoon at the Delray Open.
grigor dimitrov


By Cynthia DeLeon and David Sedore, Palm Beach

DELRAY BEACH — Two seeds moved on; one moved out Monday as the ATP World Tour play began in earnest at the Delray Beach Open.

Defending champion Ivo Karlovic, the tournament's third-seeded player was upset by Australian John-Patrick Smith, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Smith, ranked 135 in the world, earned his way into the main draw through the qualifying rounds.

Two other seeded players moved on. Gregor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, the No. 4 seed, defeated Dudi Sela of Israel 6-4, 6-2, and eighth seed Adrian Mannarino of France beat Malek Jazri of Tunisia 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Karlovic, a Croatian who lives in Plantation, had his booming serve — he set a tournament record for aces a year ago — but his accuracy was off. He landed only 48 percent of his first serves, compared with a career average of 66 percent.

Weather was the dominant factor through much of the day, as rain interrupted the 11 a.m. doubles match between Mikhail Kukushkin and Illya Marchenko and Americans Bjorn Fratangelo and Dennis Novikov. Kukushkin and Marchenko eventually won, 1-6, 6-4, 10-6 but a persistent light rain delayed completion of the match until nearly 4 p.m. Gusty winds continued to affect play even after the rains halted.

A momentary drizzle made the painted lines slippery and caused a brief delay in the Dimitrov-Sela match. Dimitrov grabbed a towel and helped the crew dry the court — not something you see every day on the tennis tour.

The tournament, played at the Delray Beach Tennis Center on Atlantic Avenue, resumes Tuesday. Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, winner of the 2009 U.S. Open and the 2011 Delray tournament begins a comeback attempt from wrist surgery against American Denis Kudla at 8 p.m.

Missed it by that much ... American Dennis Novikov tries to drop the ball over the net but comes up short during the second set of the doubles match between Mikhail Kukushkin and Illya Marchenko and Americans Bjorn Fratangelo and Dennis Novikov.
tennis player



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