New Heaven, US:Top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko withstood a dozen aces from American Robert Kendrick to win 7-6 (10), 6-3 in the second round of the Pilot Pen.
Davydenko yesterday struggled with Kendrick's serves, which occasionally topped 130 mph (209 kph). But he used a strong backhand return up 11-10 in the first-set tiebreaker that Kendrick put into the net.
"That was the key to the match," Davydenko said. "If he makes an ace, I can lose."
Kendrick said: "He put it right at my feet. I deserved it, I should have served to his forehand."
Davydenko broke Kendrick at love to go up 5-3 in the second set and served out the match.
The Russian was ranked No 8 despite missing most of the spring with a heel injury. He said he hopes to do more than just get his game in shape for next week's US Open.
"For me, it's important winning matches also here," he said. "If I'm winning (the) tournament, I'm making points here... for me, it's important for the ranking."
Davydenko was the third Russian man to beat an American yesterday.
Igor Kunitsyn beat Taylor Dent 6-3, 6-4, and Igor Andreev defeated Kevin Kim 6-3, 6-1.
Second-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain also advanced with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Paul Capdeville of Chile.
Third-seeded compatriot Tommy Robredo wasn't as fortunate, losing to Jose Acasuso of Argentina 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5).
In the women's draw, Australian Samantha Stosur needed nearly three hours to eliminate Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-7 (8), 6-2, 6-4 in her first-round match.
"It was a bit of a battle out there," Stosur said. "I got through the second set pretty quick and then started to feel better about things. The third was pretty tight. I was pleased with the way I was able to get out of it and come back from a set down."
Amelie Mauresmo, a finalist four years ago, advanced with her first win over Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine in three attempts at 6-1, 6-1, and sixth-seeded Marion Bartoli defeat Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Third-seeded Flavia Pennetta had a much easier time, defeating Ioana Raluca Olaru of Romania 6-1, 6-2.
"I was very focused on my game, and it was working pretty good," Pennetta said.