Holder Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina came from behind to defeat Lu Yen-hsun 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round of the Legg Mason Classic on Tuesday.
※It was a difficult match, my first match of the hardcourt season,§ Del Potro, the tournament＊s second seed behind Andy Roddick, told reporters. ※It took some time to find my rhythm.§
In a match that started late Tuesday night and ended well past midnight, del Potro lost the opening set after dropping his serve at 3-3.
Taiwan＊s 62nd-ranked Lu broke in the seventh game of the first set and held through to take the set, but surrendered a break in the penultimate game of the second set and another to open the third.
World No. 6 Del Potro broke again for a 5-2 lead and held again to reach a third-round match against Australia＊s Lleyton Hewitt or Israel＊s Dudi Sela.
※Lu is a good player and he played a good first set,§ Del Potro said. ※I was able to turn it around in the second set and take control in the third. I＊m glad to be through to the third round.§
Sixth seed Marin Cilic of Croatia fell to qualifier Somdev Devvarman of India 7-5, 6-4 in what the 24-year-old called the biggest win of his career.
※At this point, I＊m just happy I got through,§ Devvarman, who won back-to-back US collegiate singles titles at the University of Virginia, told reporters after his fourth victory in four days. ※I＊m going to use my day off well.§
Eighth seed Tomas Berdych and 10th seed Tommy Haas, a Wimbledon semi-finalist, both advanced.
Czech Berdych defeated Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-2, 7-6 and German Haas eased past Frank Dancevic of Canada 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Germany＊s Benjamin Becker took the long route to victory, clubbing 27 aces to close out American Robby Ginepri 7-6 6-7 7-6 in the first round. The win set up a second round meeting with Roddick yesterday.
REUTERS, LOS ANGELES
Former title winner Ana Ivanovic overcame a mid-match slump before advancing to the third round of the LA Championships with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 victory against US wildcard Vania King on Tuesday.
The sixth-seeded Serb was joined in the last 16 by second-ranked Vera Zvonareva, who was pushed all the way in the night match before edging out China＊s Shuai Peng 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 in two hours, 19 minutes.
Seeking her first title since October last year, Ivanovic struggled with King＊s relentless counterpunching in the first two sets, but in the final set, last year＊s French Open champion was able to overpower her plucky opponent.
※I felt happy with the way I was moving and playing,§ said Ivanovic, on court for the first time since a thigh injury forced her to retire from a Wimbledon fourth round match against Venus Williams in late June.
※It＊s just the first match and I have the ability to improve. I had an opportunity a few times to put the ball away but had a little doubt in my mind as to which shot to take,§ Ivanovic said.
King, who grew up in nearby Long Beach, was frustrated with her inability to trust her shots in the latter stages of her tussle with the 2007 champion.
※I was nervous,§ King said. ※It＊s something I＊ve struggled with, 〝getting a mental block because they＊re in the top 10, but I think I＊m doing a much better job of staying mentally tough.§
There were no upsets in the day＊s first round matches, as 12th seed Li Na of China advanced when Japan＊s Ayumi Morita retired while trailing 6-0, 2-0 and 13th seed Samantha Stosur of Australia eased past Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-1 6-2.
Chinese 14th seed Zheng Jie defeated Olga Savchuk of the Ukraine 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 and 17th seed Sabine Lisicki of Germany battled past Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm 7-6, 2-6, 7-5.
World No. 1 Dinara Safina will kick off her title defense against Slovakia＊s Daniela Hantuchova in the second round yesterday, while three-times grand slam champion Maria Sharapova will play third seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
OLYMPICS Delay pushes rower to retire British rowing gold medalist Tom Ransley on Friday announced his retirement after deciding that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next year was a step too far. The 34-year-old was part of the men’s eight who won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics and also a bronze in the 2012 London Games. “I have used up everything I had and I know that to get myself in the necessary condition to compete for a seat in 2021 is a step too far,” he told the BBC. The years of early starts, of three training