Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun (盧彥勳) continued this week’s season turnaround, becoming the second Asian player in two years to move into the quarter-finals of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships on Thursday.
Lu, ranked 77th, had ended a dismal run of six first-round losses dating to last spring earlier this week. He compounded his success with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/1) victory over local Rajeev Ram.
Lu bounced back from back injury treatment to finish off the victory in one hour, 43 minutes with six aces and four breaks of serve.
“I felt the problem in the first set, when I was a bit tight, but it got worse in the second,” said Lu, who was stretched out on the court while the trainer worked on him.
“I still had confidence that I could go through. I felt more pain in the second. But I took my chances in the tiebreaker to win,” he said.
The quarter-final will be the third for Lu, after San Jose five months ago and Memphis last year. He is the second Asian in as many editions to reach the quarter-finals in Indianapolis, following in the footsteps of South Korean Lee Hyung-taik.
Lu will face top seed James Blake in the quarter-final.
Blake had more trouble than expected in holding off South Korean qualifier Jun Woong-sun on Thursday to post a 6-3, 7-5 win.
The top-seeded 2006 champion admitted he made his own life a misery at times on Thursday against the No. 293, who had won his first ATP match only this week.
“I shouldn’t have had as much trouble as I did,” said the No. 8 coming off of Roland Garros and Wimbledon second-round disappointments.
“He made me work hard and gave me a scare. It had more to do with me than him today, maybe I felt him out a bit too much at first,” Blake said.
Blake narrowly missed going into a third set and had to save two set points in the tenth game of the second then notched up his game to finish the job in 71 minutes.
“I felt good about the last few games, those are the ones I’ll remember for the next round,” he said.
US player Bobby Reynolds celebrated his 26th birthday with a rout of Colombian Alejandro Falla 6-1, 6-1.
No. 90 Reynolds will play in the last eight at the ATP level for only the third time in his career after Delray Beach in February and Washington three years ago.
He had doubles later in the day, and said birthday celebrations would be kept to a minimum as he scouted out his next opponent — big-hitting young gun Sam Querrey.
Querrey rallied to beat US compatriot Vincent Spadea 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in their second-round evening match.
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
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