Gulbis upsets eight-seeded Johansson in St. Petersburg

Updated: October 22, 2007, 3:03 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson was upset by Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 6-1 Monday in the first round of the St. Petersburg Open.

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The 47th-ranked Latvian capitalized on the eighth-seeded Swede's double-faults in the first and the fifth games of the first set, and won four consecutive games in the second. He finished with 11 aces.

"I caught my rhythm from the very beginning," Gulbis said. "I know him well, we practice together. He hasn't played even to 50 percent of his potential today."

The 19-year-old reached the semifinals in his ATP debut in St. Petersburg last season. Johansson won the 2002 Australian Open and here in 2005.

Fifth-seeded Dmitry Tursunov also advanced, beating Jurgen Melzer of Austria 7-6 (6), 7-6 (0).

The 27th-ranked Russian traded breaks with Melzer in the first set before heading to the tiebreaker. In the second set, Melzer saved four break points in the 11th game.

"The first match is always difficult," Tursunov said. "It's not easy to play against a left-hander especially on a fast carpet here."

In other first-round matches, Boris Pashanski of Serbia defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 7-6 (6), 6-4, and Denis Matsukevitch of Russian beat qualifier Igor Kunitsyn 7-6 (2), 6-3.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press