Vienna:Two-time defending champion Ivan Ljubicic defeated Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria 6-4, 7-5 Monday in the first round of the BA-CA Tennis Trophy.
"I was emotional coming back to Vienna where I won my two biggest titles," said Ljubicic. "A first match is always a struggle and I am lacking in rhythm. I could not practice for two weeks due to kidney stones."
The third-seeded Croatian, who won the event in 2005 and 2006 without dropping serve, was broken at 2-1 in the first set after hitting a smash in the net.
Ljubicic, who served 15 aces, did not give Haider-Maurer any break chances afterward. He broke the Austrian at 5-5 in the second set before closing out the match.
Ljubicic will now play either Mardy Fish or Nicolas Almagro.
Andreas Seppi of Italy beat eighth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-2 after breaking twice in each set.
Jiri Vanek of the Czech Republic rallied to beat Roko Karanusic of Croatia 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-6 (3). Vanek next plays second-seeded Fernando Gonzalez.