POERTSCHACH: Third-seeded Ivan Ljubicic rallied to beat Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 on Tuesday in the first round of the Hypo Group International.

The 29th-ranked Croatian, a two-time champion of the event, dropped his opening service game and lost the set without creating a break point against the 301st-ranked Czech.

From the start of the second set, Ljubicic won nine straight games and finally wrapped up the victory on his 12th ace. John Isner of the United States also won, defeating Italian qualifier Simone Vagnozzi 6-3, 6-2.

Petrova moves up

In the Istanbul Cup, third-seeded Nadia Petrova beat Lilia Osterloh of the United States 6-1, 6-2 on Tuesday in the first round.

The 25th-ranked Russian will play Marta Domachowska of Poland in the second round of the clay-court tournament, a warm-up event for the French Open.

Sorana Cirstea also advanced, beating Masa-Zec Peskiric of Slovenia 6-3, 6-4 to set up a meeting with second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round.

Important results:

At Portschach (Hypo Group International): First round: Ivan Ljubicic bt Jan Hajek 4-6, 6-0, 6-3; John Isner bt Simone Vagnozzi 6-3, 6-2.

At Casablanca (Grand Prix Hassan II): Second round: Augustin Calleri bt Olivier Patience 6-2, 7-5; Younes El Aynaoui bt Dominik Hrbaty 6-3, 7-5; Gilles Simon bt Boris Pashanki 3-6, 6-4, 6-3; Marc Gicquel bt Guillermo Coria 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(2).

First round: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bt Albert Montanes 6-4, 7-6(10); Gael Monfils bt Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-0; Agustin Calleri bt Thierry Ascione 3-6, 6-1, 6-2; Julien Benneteau bt Florian Mayer 2-6, 6-3, 6-4; Rainer Schuttler bt Chris Guccione 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2; Gilles Simon bt Florent Serra 6-2, 5-7, 6-3; Younis El Aynaoui bt Victor Hanescu 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3; Guillermo Coria bt Peter Polansky 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; Santiago Ventura bt Arnaud Clement 7-6(6), 6-1;

At Strasbourg (Strasbourg International): First round: Katarina Srebotnik bt Sabine Lisicki 6-3, 6-1; Timea Bacsinszky bt Jelena Dokic 6-4, 6-2; Tatiana Perebiynis bt Ashley Harkleroad 6-2, 6-1; Flavia Pennetta bt Nathalie Dechy 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; Anabel Medina Garrigues bt Klara Zakopalova 7-6(3), 7-5; Ai Sugiyama bt Mariya Koryttseva 7-5, 7-5

At Istanbul (Istanbul Cup): First round: Olga Govortsova bt Ipek Senoglu 6-3, 6-2; Andreja Klepac bt Sofia Arvidsson 6-3, 7-6(2); Jill Craybas bt Tzipora Obziler 6-2, 3-6, 6-4; Marta Domachowska bt Marina Erakovic 7-6(2), 6-3; Akgul Amanmuradova bt Martina Mueller 6-4, 6-1; Nadia Petrova bt Lilia Osterloh 6-1, 6-2.

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