Lopez, Chardy win openers in Brisbane

12:59 PM, Dec 31, 2013   |    comments
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Brisbane, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Seeded players Feliciano Lopez and Jeremy Chardy posted first-round victories Tuesday at the 2014 season- opening Brisbane International tennis event.

The sixth-seeded left-hander Lopez, of Spain, handled Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-4, while the eighth-seeded Chardy got past fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 at Queensland Tennis Centre.

Also advancing was former world No. 1 Aussie tennis hero Lleyton Hewitt, who topped qualifier fellow countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 7-5 at this hardcourt Australian Open tune-up. Hewitt titled in Brisbane way back in 1998 and 2000 and was the runner-up in 1999.

Meanwhile, Aussie wild card Samuel Groth doused American qualifier Ryan Harrison 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2); France's Nicolas Mahut overcame Dutchman Igor Sijsling 3-6, 6-4, 6-4; Romanian qualifier Marius Copil outlasted Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (9-7) in 2 hours, 54 minutes; and Aussie Matthew Ebden dismissed American lucky loser Alex Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-4.

On Wednesday, second-round matches will come for top-seeded Roger Federer and No. 2 seed Kei Nishikori, who will face Ebden. The former world No. 1 Federer will battle Finnish left-hander and 2008 Brisbane runner-up Jarkko Nieminen in the Swiss great's first match of the new year.

The Sports Network

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