Karlovic defeats Lopez to reach Thai Open second round

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BANGKOK, Sep 25 (Reuters) Seventh seed Ivo Karlovic of Croatia advanced to the second round of the Thailand Open after a comfortable 7-6 6-3 victory over Spain's Feliciano Lopez today.

The 6 ft 10 ins (2.08m) Croat relied on his powerful serves to get past the 48th-ranked Spaniard, blasting 23 aces during the one hour, 11-minute contest.

''I'm happy with my game today, especially my service games,'' said Karlovic, who won 38 out of 40 points with his lethal first serve.

''It was quite difficult to return his serve because he's a good server, but I did well and broke him twice, I'm happy with that,'' he told reporters.

In other matches, Germany's Mischa Zverev, who reached his first career quarter-final here last year, beat Michael Russell 6-4 3-6 6-1, German Dominik Meffert defeated Amer Delic of the United States 7-5 6-1 and Frenchman Michael Llodra saw off Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili 7-6 7-5.

Top seed Novak Djorkovic pulled out of the 550,000 dollars tournament on Tuesday with a back injury sustained during Serbia's 4-1 Davis Cup win over Australia at the weekend.

Second seed American Andy Roddick, Czech Tomas Berdych and Tommy Haas of Germany are due to play their first round matches tomorrow.

REUTERS BJR RN1733

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