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Bastl sets up Kratochvil meeting

Bastl is preparing to meet Kratochvil for the first ever time on the ATP Tour

(Keystone Archive)

Swiss number five George Bastl has reached the second round of the ATP tennis tournament in Shanghai where he'll now face Swiss number two Michel Kratochvil.

After ending a run of six defeats in a row by reaching the second round of the US Open last month, Bastl (ATP 124) had to work unexpectedly hard to get past the first round in Shanghai.

The Chicago-born Swiss appeared to be cruising against Czech qualifier Petr Luxa (ATP 353), taking the first set of the match 6-1. But greater resistance by Luxa in the second set forced Bastl to sweat a little before eventually clinching a straight sets (6-1, 7-5) victory.

Kratochvil fulfilled his half of the all-Swiss appointment by crushing Chinese wildcard Wang Yu 6-2, 6-1 on Monday.

Although Kratochvil and Bastl have often competed with each other for places in the Swiss Davis Cup team, the two players have not previously been pitted against each othher on the ATP Tour.

Both Swiss men have lasted longer in Shanghai than America's Andre Agassi. The world number two suffered a shock defeat in Tuesday's other first round action, losing in straight sets (7-6, 7-5) to young Georgian player Irakli Labadze.

swissinfo with agencies

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