Published February 20, 2012
MARSEILLE, France – Ivan Ljubicic hit 27 aces but still needed three sets to beat Florent Serra of France 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 Monday and reach the second round of the Open 13.
The seventh-seeded Croat broke for a 4-2 lead in the final set.
Ljubicic also broke Serra's serve at 4-4 in the first set, but the Frenchman dominated the second-set tiebreaker, winning five straight points to take a 5-1 lead before leveling the match at one set apiece.
A runner-up at this tournament in 2005, Ljubicic will next face Paul-Henri Mathieu of France or Karol Beck of Slovakia.
Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France downed Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-2, 7-6 (4), advancing to matchup against Flavio Cipolla, who stunned eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Nieminen, who won the Sydney International last month, dropped serve twice to lose the opening set. The Finnish lefty saved four break points in the next set to force a tiebreaker, but Roger-Vasselin jumped out to a 4-0 lead before clinching victory.
Cipolla earned the only break of an all-Italian match in the opening game. He then erased all seven break points he faced.