Cilic keeps up indoor momentum
Marin Cilic continued his excellent indoor form by beating Lukas Rosol 6-2 6-2 to set up a clash with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Rotterdam World Tennis.
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The unseeded Croatian came to the Dutch port city fresh from a fourth title at home in Zagreb, where he beat Germany's Tommy Haas on Sunday.
And he never lost control against the 50th-ranked Czech Rosol, with the winner sending down a modest eight aces but breaking four times in the one-hour victory.
Cilic, who is now coached by former Croatian star Goran Ivanisevic, was happy with his overall display.
"I played solidly, I didn't have too many mistakes. In the first couple of games I had to get used to conditions. I was finally feeling the ball. I mixed it up well and make him play.
"My serve was also working pretty well, it was a solid match."
Grigor Dimitrov earned a second-round spot with a 6-2 1-6 6-4 victory against Dmitry Tursunov. Latvian Ernests Gulbis will be his next foe after he beat Uzbek Denis Istomin 6-4 7-6 (7/4) in 90 minutes while home favourite Igor Sijsling dispatched seventh-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 6-2.
In the late match, Jerzy Janowicz hit back from a set down to oust France's Julien Benneteau 3-6 6-3 6-4. The Pole will next face either Fernando Verdasco or Tommy Haas.
Meanwhile, Czech third seed Tomas Berdych has admitted to gaining confidence about his Grand Slam title chances after watching Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka win the Australian Open.
World number seven Berdych was himself a semi-final victim of Wawrinka last month in Melbourne, with the Swiss winning the title by beating Rafael Nadal in the final.
"Stan showed us that it is possible to win a Grand Slam," said Berdych, who meets either Nicolas Mahut or Gilles Simon in the second round. "Grand Slams are difficult to win, but Stan showed it's possible to beat the top guys.
"If you work hard, then everything can click together and you can make it in the end. It isn't only the right of two or three guys (Roger Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, the so-called Big Four).
"Stan's win showed that the top 10 is also extremely tough. I just need to work harder, stay patient and hopefully the results will come," added the 2010 Wimbledon finalist.
Andy Murray will open the Wednesday evening session against France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
The Wimbledon champion has been given a wildcard for the event.