Fabrice Santoro served three aces in his last game to close out top-seeded Andy Roddick 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4 in the first round of the Lyon Grand Prix on Wednesday.
Santoro, who won his first career ATP tour title in Lyon in 1997, faced only two break points and prevailed after just over two hours on the Lyon carpet.
The 34-year-old French veteran, whose title at Newport, Rhode Island, in July, was his first in six years on tour, advanced to face compatriot Sebastien Grosjean, who dispatched Rodolphe Cadart of France, 6-3, 6-2, earlier on Wednesday.
In other matches, Belgium's Olivier Rochus held off Frenchman Michael Llodra 7-6 (5), 6-2, while No. 4 Richard Gasquet restored France's honor by beating Christophe Rochus of Belgium 7-6 (5), 6-3.
In second-round play, Frenchman Marc Gicquel made easy work of Germany's Benjamin Becker, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the semifinals. He will face Diego Hartfield, who defeated sixth-seeded and fellow Argentine Juan Monaco, 6-4, 6-3.
Top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko beat Filippo Volandri 6-1, 6-1 on Wednesday to advance to the second round at the St. Petersburg Open.
Davydenko, who withdrew from the Madrid Masters last week because of a right elbow injury, broke the 44th-ranked Italian two times in the first set.
Volandri broke the Russian to trail 3-1 in the second set before losing three straight games.
The fourth-ranked Davydenko qualified for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai next month by winning the Kremlin Cup two weeks ago.
In the second round, seventh-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber won five straight games in the first set to beat wild card Denis Matsukevitch 6-1, 6-1; and Ernests Gulbis defeated Nicolas Massu 6-1, 6-2.
The 47th-ranked Gulbis, a semi-finalist last year on his ATP Tour debut, won six of eight service games to love and had 14 aces.
"I knew [the] strong and weak sides of his game," Gulbis said. "But not much depended on him in today's match as I served and received really well."
James Blake advanced to the second round of the Swiss Indoors by beating Oscar Hernandez 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday.
The fourth-seeded Blake is one of 20 players seeking to clinch one of the last three spots remaining at the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai next month. The American reached the final last year but lost to top-ranked Roger Federer.
Hernandez saved one match point on his serve with Blake leading 5-3 in the second set. But the American went up 40-0 in the next game and closed out the match with a service winner.
Blake will next face Ivo Karlovic of Croatia.
"That's what I am worried about right now, not the semis or the final," Blake said.
Blake, a wild card in Basel, has to overtake two players to qualify for the Masters Cup. Next week's Paris Masters is the last tournament of the year before the Shanghai event.
"I notice it but I don't worry about it," Blake said. "I can't be worried about the other guys, I am just trying to do well at the end of the year."
If Blake makes the semifinals in Basel, he would pull into a tie for eighth place, the last to yield a spot in Shanghai.
Blake said that wasn't the reason he asked for a wild card, although playing in Shanghai two years in a row would be ``an honor.''
"It was a mistake, miscommunication between my agent and me, I just forgot to enter," he said. "Seven years on the tour and I still screw up."
Five players have already qualified for Shanghai: Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko and Andy Roddick.
Two other players who are competing for spots at the Masters Cup also advanced at the Swiss Indoors. Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych beat Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3, and Guillermo Canas defeated Jose Acasuso 6-4, 6-3.
Also, qualifier Andrey Golubev upset Amer Delic 6-4, 6-3 and Juan Martin Del Potro advanced when Michael Russell retired with an upset stomach while trailing 5-2.
Del Potro next faces Federer, who needed three sets to beat Michael Berrer on Tuesday.
Top-seeded Anna Chakvetadze needed just 47 minutes to defeat Francesca Schiavone 6-0, 6-2 Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Generali Ladies.
The seventh-ranked Russian was in control of the match throughout, as Schiavone double-faulted 10 times and won only eight points on her own serve in the opening set.
Chakvetadze, who became the top seed after defending champion Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova pulled out with injuries, will play either sixth-seeded Patty Schnyder or Alicia Molik in the quarterfinals.
Earlier on Wednesday, Dinara Safina beat Karin Knapp 6-2, 6-2.
The fourth-seeded Russian hit 17 winners from the baseline and broke the Italian twice in each set.
"From the start, I put a lot of pressure on Karin so she could not find to her normal game," Safina said.
During the first round, seventh-seeded Tatiana Golovin trailed Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-4, 0-1 when she retired with an injured right knee.
Golovin, who reached the final of the Zurich Open last Sunday, lost her serve three times in the first set.
Nicole Vaidisova rallied to beat Flavia Pennetta 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4). The fifth-seeded Czech had 47 unforced errors and converted three of 16 break points.
"Flavia is hard to beat so I am proud that I won," Vaidisova said. "I'd never played before in this arena and had troubles adapting to the circumstances."
A break in the opening game was enough for Pennetta to win the first set. Vaidisova, who also defeated the Italian at this year's US Open, had two breaks in the second to pull even.
The 14th-ranked Czech didn't score a point while serving for the match at 5-4, but wrapped up the victory in the tiebreaker.
Tamira Paszek also advanced, beating Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-3, 7-5. The 16-years-old Austrian plays third-seeded Marion Bartoli of France in the second round.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there