Andy Roddick defeated Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) to advance to the quarter-finals at Queen’s Club on Thursday after the start of the match was delayed by a security alert.
Tournament officials, after initially saying the match was being delayed because of technical issues, disclosed that a spectator had discovered a bomb threat pinned to a wall. However, a security sweep found nothing.
While waiting for about 20 minutes, the two former champions chatted at the net.
“Obviously your concern is making sure everyone is safe,” Roddick said. “There wasn’t really much to be done and I know they were trying to decide what they were going to do. Obviously we were hoping we were going to get a chance to stay out there and play the match, but that [the bomb threat] was a first for me.”
When play did begin, neither player was able to gain an edge over the other, with only one break point in the entire match.
Roddick was briefly threatened on his serve in the first set, taken to deuce twice before holding to lead 4-3. In the second set, the second-seeded American faced a break point as Hewitt led 4-3, but the 15th seed was pressured into hitting a forehand long.
The Australian then was taken to deuce for the only time in the match when he double-faulted before holding his serve to lead 5-4.
After trailing 1-3 in the tiebreaker, Roddick closed out the match with his 18th ace to earn a clash with former finalist Ivo Karlovic.
“It was tough out there today,” Roddick said. “The wind is blowing pretty good, and it’s gusting. So I don’t know if I ever felt comfortable, but I was able to just focus on holds and played all right in the breakers.”
Andy Murray also reached the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
The top-seeded Brit needed just one break in each set to secure a comfortable win over an opponent who rallied well but never offered a serious threat.
Murray began by firing three consecutive aces, and then broke to lead 5-4 when Garcia-Lopez sent a forehand wide. In the second set, Murray broke to love to lead 3-2 by forcing a backhand error, and went on to concede just one point in his remaining three service games.
“He started off well and served well, but after I got a break at the end of the first set I felt more comfort and went for my shots more,” Murray said.
James Blake outlasted Sam Querrey 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a clash between the Americans.
Sixth-seeded Blake appeared to be on his way to an easy straight-sets victory after breaking to lead the first set 5-4 and then building a 3-0 lead in the second.
But Querrey leveled at 3-3 and broke again for 5-4 by forcing a backhand error. After Querrey served out the set, just one break of serve at 2-1 in the third set was enough to earn Blake the decider.
“He actually did a good job of being down and still fighting and battling back,” Blake said. “He really kept his head up and kept working, which is a good sign for a young player. That will hopefully get him a lot of wins throughout his career, but luckily for me it wasn’t good enough to give him a win today.”
Fellow American Mardy Fish joined Blake in the quarter-finals when he defeated Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-4.
Juan Carlos Ferrero also reached the last eight with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Belgium’s Xavier Malisse, and Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic fired 19 aces as he beat Nicolas Mahut of France 6-3, 6-4.
■GERRY WEBER OPEN
AP, HALLE, GERMANY
Novak Djokovic’s Wimbledon tuneup came close to an early end as he saved five match points in beating Florent Serra 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 to make the Gerry Weber Open quarter-finals on Thursday.
The world No. 4 played his best tennis when he was on the brink of defeat against the Frenchman, winning 11 of the last 12 games.
“For most people there would not be much left to do, but the lesson from today is to play until the last shot,” Djokovic said.
Djokovic, the former Australian Open champion who was seeded second here, lost in the third round of the French Open.
“That early exit got me worried a little,” he said.
Earlier, Andreas Beck became the fifth German into the quarter-finals of the grass-court tournament when he beat Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 7-5, 7-6 (5). Lacko was the lucky loser from qualifying who replaced top-seeded Roger Federer in the draw after the Swiss star withdrew from his usual Wimbledon warmup following his victory at the French Open.
Two other Germans lost their second round matches.
Philipp Petzschner fell to Olivier Rochus of Belgium 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 and Nicolas Kiefer retired with a stomach muscle injury after losing the first set 6-1 to seventh-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria.
Melzer will next play Djokovic.
With five players in the quarter-finals, the Germans have their best showing in an ATP tournament since 1973 and are sure to have a representative in the final.
Djokovic appeared headed for an early exit when he trailed 5-2 in the second set after an error-filled performance.
Facing three match points on his own serve, Djokovic hit a volley winner, an ace and a service winner.
All of a sudden, his shots found their range and he began hitting winners from both sides.
Djokovic faced more match points in each of the next two games, saving one with a drop shot and another ace on the next.
Serra, who had won one of their two previous meetings, thumped a forehand into the net to drop serve and give Djokovic the set.
A fortunate net cord gave Djokovic the first game of the third set on Serra’s serve and the Serb made it 2-0 by winning his seventh straight game.
Serra’s last chance to get back into the match came when he had two break points while trailing 4-1. But Djokovic unleashed another ace to hold serve and closed the match with another drop shot Serra could only push wide.
AP, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND
Maria Sharapova won twice within hours to reach the Aegon Classic quarter-finals on Thursday.
Extending her comeback after a 10-month layoff because of a shoulder injury and surgery, Sharapova needed only two minutes and five points to wrap up a 6-3, 6-4 victory against American Alexa Glatch in a second-round match suspended on Wednesday by rain.
The unseeded Sharapova required little more than an hour to dispatch seventh-seeded Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-1, 6-3.
Yanina Wickmayer, runner-up to Kateryna Bondarenko a year ago, beat Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-1, 6-4.
Top-seeded Zheng Jie became the third career top 20 win for Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, who hit 14 aces in prevailing 7-6 (10), 6-4 for her first quarter-finals since February.
Other third-round winners included Sania Mirza, who ousted fifth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2.
Melinda Czink of Hungary upset third-seeded Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-5, and fourth-seeded Li Na of China beat Aravane Rezai of France 7-5, 6-4.
’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
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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