Ernests Gulbis loses in St Petersburg

Defending champion Ernests Gulbis was sent crashing out of the first round of the St Petersburg Open after an error-strewn performance against Marcos Baghdatis.

Gulbis was the victor in Russia the last time the tournament was held in 2013, and he took that form into 2014 where as he won two ATP titles and entered the world’s top 10.

However, the Latvian has failed to hit those same standards in 2015 and the now-world number 68 was beaten 6-4 4-6 6-3 by Baghdatis after recording 61 unforced errors in a match lasting over two hours.

Tommy Robredo, seeded fifth, is next up for Baghdatis. The Spaniard was taken the distance by home favourite and 2004 victor Mikhail Youzhny, but eventually came through 6-4 3-6 6-3.

However, sixth seed Benoit Paire is out after retiring when trailing 6-4 3-0 to Jerzy Janowicz. The Frenchman later returned to play the doubles with Radu Albot, but they were beaten by Austrian pair Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya.

Elsewhere, there was a victory for Evgeny Donskoy, who was a 6-2 6-4 victor against Alexandre Sidorenko.