Fri, Feb 20, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Hewitt ends Blake’s hopes in Memphis

DOWN AND OUT In other matches, Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun lost in straight sets, while defending champ Steve Darcis’ nightmare run of form continued with another loss

AFP , MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan serves to Mardy Fish of the US in the first round of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday. Fish defeated Lu 6-1, 7-5.

PHOTO: EPA

Lleyton Hewitt sent third-seeded James Blake tumbling out of the first-round of the ATP and WTA hardcourt tennis tournament in Memphis on Wednesday.

Hewitt notched the upset of the day with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Blake.

Hewitt bounced back from a sloppy first set to improve to 8-1 in head-to-head matchups with Blake.

Despite the weary history, Blake entered as a heavy favorite to pull off his second victory over Hewitt, who had battled a myriad of injuries throughout last year and has dropped to 103rd in the world rankings.

Instead Hewitt booked a second-round clash with compatriot Chris Guccione, who was called up along with Hewitt on Wednesday for Australia’s Davis Cup tie against Thailand next month.

Top-seeded American Roddick launched his quest for a first title of the year by dispatching defending champion Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-6, (7/1), 6-2.

Roddick has reached three finals over his previous eight appearances at this hardcourt event, but has only the 2002 crown to show for it.

Darcis remains in search of his first match win of the year after first-round departures at Brisbane, Auckland, the Australian Open and San Jose.

Roddick, ranked sixth in the world, was one of six US men in action on Wednesday.

He advanced to a meeting with compatriot Robby Ginepri, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Simon Greul.

Fifth-seeded Czech Radek Stepanek also reached the second round, beating US qualifier Kevin Kim 6-4, 6-2.

Seventh seed Mardy Fish also benefited from the partisan crowd as he topped Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun 6-1, 7-5.

Eighth-seeded Sam Querrey downed German veteran Tommy Haas 7-6, (7/4), 6-4.

On the women’s side, Danish top seed Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the quarter-finals by defeating France’s Severine Bremond 6-1, 7-6 (7/1).

Also claiming quarter-final spots were Czech third seed Lucie Safarova, British fourth seed Anne Keothavong, German sixth seed Sabine Lisicki and eighth seed Pauline Parmentier of France.

Britain’s Keothavong defeated Portugal’s Michelle Larcherde Brito 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 to book a date against New Zealand’s fifth-seeded Marina Erakovic.

Parmentier eliminated South African Chanelle Scheepers 6-4, 6-1 while Safarova ousted Vania King 7-6 (7/1), 6-3, to book a final-eight date with Lisicki, who defeated France’s Stephanie Foretz 6-2, 6-4.

■DUBAI CHAMPIONSHIPS

AP, DUBAI

Serena and Venus Williams remained on track to meet in the semi-finals but Jelena Jankovic was ousted in the third round of the Dubai Championships on Wednesday.

Top-seeded Serena beat Zheng Jie of China 6-4, 6-2, while sixth-seeded Venus put away Alize Cornet of France 6-3, 6-2.

Third-seeded Jankovic lost to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 7-5. It was Kanepi’s first win over a top-five player.

In the quarter-finals, Serena was due to meet French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, while Venus was to play defending champion Elena Dementieva.

Eighth-seeded Ivanovic beat lucky loser Camille Pin of France 6-2, 7-6 (5), while fourth-seeded Dementieva dispatched Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-1, 6-3.

Jankovic, down 6-2, 4-0, pulled level in the second set at 5-5 but Kanepi broke in the 12th game for her best win.

“I am really delighted. It was my tactic to mix it up and it worked,” Kanepi said.

Jankovic, ranked No. 1 until last month, was embarrassed.

“This was the worst match of my career. It was a horrible day. I kept framing the ball, kept making unforced errors and could not put two balls together on the court. I didn’t move properly, and I didn’t see the ball properly,” she said.

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