Ričardas Berankis, Lithuania's best tennis player and number 85 in the world, kicked off the 2016 season with a victory. The 25-year-old player is participating in the ATP 250 tournament in Doha, Qatar, where he beat sixth-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi (31, ATP 29) in the first round.
Ričardas Berankis
© Vida Press

Berankis lost the first set, but caught hold in the second set and dominated the rest of the match, scoring 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

It was the third meeting of the two tennis players. Seppi had won both previous matches with Berankis.

Berankis will next face the Russian player Andrey Kuznetsov (24, ATP 79), who secured a victory in the first round against the wild card holder Marcel Ilhan of Turkey (28, ATP 114). Berankis' first-round victory earned him 20 ATP ranking points.

The Lithuanian will fight to get more points before the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open, in order to get a better draw position and to avoid playing against top players in the first rounds of the tournament.

Another goal of the Lithuanian player this season is to continue climbing up in world rankings and to make it into the top 50. This will allow Berankis to participate in higher-level tournaments without having to play in qualification rounds.

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