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Aussies buck form trend

February 12th 2013 22:24
THERE were some genuine struggles, but three out-of-sorts Australians found the winning formula on the opening day of the Melbourne Park International yesterday.
West Australian second seed Brydan Klein, Queenslander Ben Mitchell and South Australian Alex Bolt all progressed to the second round.
Klein and Mitchell each needed three sets to quell respective opponents Sean Berman and Jack Schipanski.
Klein overcame Melbourne-based American Berman 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4, while Mitchell trumped South Australian teenager Schipanksi 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3.
Bolt was locked at a set-all – 4-6, 6-3 – with New South Welshman Adam Feeney when the latter retired injured.

It took three sets, but Ben Mitchell reached the second round with a win over Jack Schipanski. Picture: Adelaide Now

There was not such good news for South Australia’s two-time junior grand slam winner Luke Saville.
Saville, a former junior world No. 1, travelled with the Australian Davis Cup team for its 5-0 win over Chinese Taipei this month, but has struggled in tournament play since.
Matt Barton thrashed Saville 6-2, 6-2 on his way to last week’s West Lakes title and yesterday it was Italian world No. 358 Andrea Arnaboldi’s turn to blitz the immensely talented Aussie in a 6-2, 6-1 result.
Saville beat Dane Propoggia, of NSW, before his Barton loss.
Arnaboldi arrived in Melbourne on the back of consecutive opening-round losses to Canadian Peter Polansky, the top seed in Melbourne, at Burnie and Queenslander John-Patrick Smith at West Lakes.
New Zealanders won the other two singles matches on the schedule.
Rubin Statham continued his impressive form, accounting for Slovakia’s Ivo Klec 6-2, 7-6 (5).
Statham is at a career-high ranking of 285 thanks to his semi-final effort at Burnie and round-of-16 showing at West Lakes.
His countryman Artem Sitak recovered from a set down to oust Queenslander Michael Look 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
There was a big result in the doubles, with West Lakes winners Sam Groth and Matt Reid becoming the second straight reigning titlist on the Australian Pro Tour to bow out in the opening round of their next tournament.
Teenage pairing Schipanski and Jordan Thompson eliminated the Groth-Reid combination 1-6, 6-2, 10-2.
Smith and Ruan Roelofse suffered the same fate at West Lakes after claiming the doubles spoils in Burnie.

I am the Shepparton News' sports editor and hope to start a tennis website this year. Follow me on Twitter at @Marc_tennis and/or @marcmcgowan84.

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