Tennis

Ljubicic advances in Marseille

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MARSEILLE, France (AP)

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.

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