BANGKOK, Sep 26 (Reuters) Unseeded German Benjamin Becker got off to the perfect start at the Thailand Open when he beat fifth seed Carlos Moya 7-6 6-4 in the first round.
Becker looked the more determined of the two players, serving well throughout the one hour, 24-minute match to gain the edge over the former world number one Spaniard in two closely-contested sets, yesterday.
''That was a big match, I'm really really happy I won today, especially against someone like Carlos Moya,'' said Becker, who is ranked 79th in the world.
''I stuck to the plan, I played aggressively, served well and stopped him using his big forehand,'' he told reporters.
Seventh seed Ivo Karlovic of Croatia advanced to the next round after a comfortable 7-6 6-3 victory over Feliciano Lopez.
The 6ft 10ins Croat relied on his powerful serves to get past the 48th-ranked Spaniard, blasting 23 aces in just over an hour of play.
''I'm happy with my game today, especially my service games,'' said Karlovic, who won 38 out of 40 points with his lethal first serve.
''It was quite difficult to return his serve because he's a good server, but I did well and broke him twice, I'm happy with that.'' In other matches, Germany's Mischa Zverev, who reached his first career quarter-final here last year, beat Michael Russell 6-4 3-6 6-1, German Dominik Meffert defeated Amer Delic of the United States 7-5 6-1 and Frenchman Michael Llodra saw off Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili 7-6 7-5.
Top seed Novak Djorkovic pulled out of the 0,000 tournament on Tuesday with a back injury sustained during Serbia's 4-1 Davis Cup win over Australia at the weekend.
Djorkovic followed world number two Rafael Nadal, who withdrew on Sunday to recover from a knee injury.
Second seed American Andy Roddick, Czech Tomas Berdych and Tommy Haas of Germany are due to play their first round matches on Wednesday.
REUTERS BJR RK1042