Rafael Nadal spent just 36 minutes in his comeback from a two-and-a-half-month injury absence as David Ferrer retired hurt while trailing 4-3 in their second-round match at the Montreal Masters on Wednesday.
The result was an anti-climax for world No. 2 Nadal, who has been resting tendinitis-plagued knees ever since losing on May 31 at the French Open.
“I must be happy, because I didn’t play terrible,” the second seed said. “In the next round, I have another chance to continue to improve. Every match, every game is important to feel better for me. My knees felt OK, but I need more days to have [a] real test.”
Nadal, the defending champion, drew massive applause as he went onto the court with his fellow Spaniard and showed few outward signs of rust after his long absence.
Ferrer, playing with one knee taped and visited twice by the trainer, started poorly with a double fault and lost the opening game, setting a tone for Nadal. Nadal, the four-time French Open champion who had to sit out Wimbledon because of his troublesome knees, yesterday faced a date with German Philipp Petzschner, who upset Spain’s Tommy Robredo 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4).
Fifth-seeded Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick opened against Russian Igor Andreev, with the American carving out a patchy 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) win.
“Not perfect, but, you know, obviously I’ll take the win,” the world No. 5 said.
Washington champion and sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro beat Czech Jan Hernych 6-2, 7-5.
Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero moved into a third-round showdown with world No. 3 Andy Murray for the third time since June and will hope to reverse his fortunes after two losses to the Scot.
Ferrero felled French 13th seed Gael Monfils 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) to notch his 30th victory of the season.
AP, MASON, OHIO
Playing her second competitive match in more than two years, Kim Clijsters reached the third round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Open with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Patty Schnyder on Wednesday.
Clijsters who retired in May 2007 and gave birth to a daughter in February last year, knocked out 12th-seeded Marion Bartoli in straight sets on Monday. The 2005 US Open champion followed up by never losing her serve against the 20th-ranked Schnyder.
The 26-year-old Clijsters is scheduled to meet sixth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova in the next round, with a possible quarter-final looming against top-seeded Dinara Safina. Clijsters has won six of her seven matches against Kuznetsova.
Second-seeded Serena Williams had 14 aces, nine in the second set, on her way to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine.
Unseeded Melinda Czink of Hungary and Sybille Bammer of Austria turned in the day’s only upsets. Czink knocked off 11th-seeded and former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (6), 7-5, and Bammer eliminated 13th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-0, 7-5.
Fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva also advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium as seeded players swept almost all of the other second-round matches. Only No. 7-seeded Vera Zvonareva and eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki dropped sets. Zvonareva beat fellow Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, and Wozniacki came from behind to pull out a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada.
• Sinon Bulls 12,
Uni-President Lions 2
• La New Bears v Brother Elephants (postponed to Oct. 8)
• Uni-President Lions v Brother Elephants (Sinjhuang, 6:30pm)
• La New Bears v Sinon Bulls
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