Top-seeded Andy Murray beat Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-1, 6-4 on Wednesday in the second round in the grass-court tournament at Queen’s Club.
Seppi double-faulted on break point at 1-1, and Murray went on to lose only three points in the last four games of the first set.
The Italian recovered an early break in the second set, but Murray was never under any real pressure and broke again for the match when Seppi sent a forehand long.
Murray will play 16th-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain, who downed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (3), 6-3.
“I started the match very well,” said Murray, who lost to Seppi in their only previous grass-court match three years ago. “I returned well. My serve could have been a little bit better, but I was happy with the way I moved and I didn’t make too many errors.”
Lleyton Hewitt, seeded 15th, rallied to beat Frederico Gil of Portugal 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to set up a match against No. 2 Andy Roddick.
Both are former four-time champions.
Nicolas Mahut of France upset fifth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia 7-6 (1), 7-6 (4).
Fourteenth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia defeated Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 7-6 (3), and Belgium’s Steve Darcis overcame Alberto Martin of Spain 6-2, 6-4.
Seventh-seeded Marat Safin of Russia withdrew with a back injury and was replaced in the draw by South Africa’s Rik De Voest.
Fourth-seeded Gael Monfils of France also pulled out with a wrist injury, giving Darcis a walkover into the quarter-finals.
■GERRY WEBER OPEN
AP, HALLE, GERMANY
Tommy Haas beat fourth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (3) on Wednesday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Gerry Weber Open, capping a fine day for Germans and a disastrous one for seeded players.
In an earlier upset, Mischa Zverev rallied to defeat fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8).
The other two seeded players in action, No. 6 Dmitry Tursunov and No. 8 Rainer Schuettler, also tumbled out.
Haas, a 31-year-old veteran who is working his way back after shoulder surgery, got a wild card into the grass-court event. His experience showed against Tsonga, a Frenchman with a flashy but inconsistent game.
“I played as well as I can, especially on the big points,” Haas said. “We both played extremely well. To beat a top-10 player shows that I have to be reckoned with.”
Roger Federer on Tuesday pulled out of the tournament, where he usually begins his grass-court preparations for Wimbledon, saying he was “overwhelmed” and “exhausted” after his French Open win.
AP, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND
Maria Sharapova’s bid to reach the third round of the Aegon Classic was held up by rain on Wednesday, with the former Wimbledon champion leading Alexa Glatch 6-3, 5-4 before a downpour halted play.
Sharapova twice held match point but was unable to close them out and play was suspended for the day with 19-year-old Glatch holding an advantage point on her own service game.
Playing only her third tournament since being sidelined for 10 months with a shoulder injury, Sharapova had to work hard to contain a promising young player on the verge of the top 100, who mixed slice and topspin well and looked to be growing in confidence.
There was enough match time on Wednesday for India’s Sania Mirza to beat 11th-seeded British No. 1, Anne Keothavong 6-1, 7-6 (5).
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017