KUALA LUMPUR: Former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis made a convincing 6-1, 6-1 start at the Malaysian Open on Tuesday, with the Cypriot sixth seed running down Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
Baghdatis has lifted his ranking from 42nd to 18th this season thanks to eight quarter-finals or better.
In other first-round matches, Milos Raonic, the 19-year-old Canadian, claimed his first victory at the ATP level when he beat the experienced Russian Igor Kunitsyn 7-6 (8/6), 6-3.
Raonic, ranked 237th, will face the seventh seeded Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky at the Putra stadium in the tournament’s second round.
Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov beat Frenchman Laurent Recouderc 6-3, 6-1 while Russia’s Igor Andreev stopped Go Soeda of Japan 6-1, 6-4.