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Davydenko rallies past Minar to advance to third round

4/16/2008 - Tennis

OEIRAS, Portugal -- Second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko rallied to beat Ivo Minar 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday in the second round of the clay-court Estoril Open.

Davydenko struggled with his serve in the first set and was broken twice before recovering in the second with two breaks of his own.

In a closely fought third set, the Russian broke Minar's serve in the opening game en route to a 4-1 lead. But Minar came back with two straight breaks to even at 4-4 before Davydenko -- the 2003 champion -- closed out the match.

Fifth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon retired with back pains when trailing 6-2, 5-3 against Italian Flavio Cipolla.

Two other Frenchmen advanced, as seventh-seeded Marc Gicquel overcame compatriot Thierry Ascione 7-6 (2), 6-3 and Florent Serra beat Portugal's Rui Machado 7-6 (5), 6-1.

In the women's event, top-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta lost to Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2.