Andy Roddick’s body finally gave up on him when he limped out of the Shanghai Masters after retiring in the first set of his match against Stanislas Wawrinka yesterday.
The fourth seed, who launched a scathing attack on the gruelling tour schedule on Monday, was 4-3 up and looking to convert a break point when he pulled up short chasing a Wawrinka backhand.
The American, who retired with a injured shoulder in his only previous tour clash with the Swiss, also lost the first match of his title defense in Beijing last week.
On Monday, he called for the ATP to allow the top players a break in the season or risk curtailing the careers of top players.
Meanwhile, former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt cut big-serving American John Isner down to size with a 6-2, 6-4 victory in the first round of the US$3.24 million event.
Now 23 in the world after sliding outside the top 100 following hip surgery, Hewitt came up with some fine returns to disarm the Floridian.
Hewitt will play Gael Monfils after the 11th seed crushed fellow Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-2, 6-2 in 54 minutes.
Sixth seed Nikolay Davydenko was the first man to reach the third round when he beat fellow Russian Igor Kunitsyn 6-4, 6-2.
Davydenko reached the final of the last version of the Masters Cup tour championship here last year and is in the running for one of the three spots still up for grabs at the new season finale in London.
Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez, currently in the eighth and final spot in the race to the World Tour Finals, will play Davydenko in the last 16 after beating Brazilian qualifier Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4.
Swede Robin Soderling is another in the hunt for a place in London and the ninth seed helped his cause with a 6-3, 6-4 first-round win over Romanian Victor Hanescu.
AFP, OSAKA, JAPAN
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark launched her campaign in style by beating Japan’s Ayumi Morita in the first round of the Japan Open women’s tennis tournament yesterday.
The 19-year-old Dane saved two out of two break points while she won perfect three out of three break chances to score a 6-4, 6-1 victory.
Former champion Jill Craybas of the US, whose only WTA title came in the 2002 Japan Open, edged past four-time champion Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
Marion Bartoli of France, the second seed and 2006 champion, outclassed Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-3, 7-5.
In other action, Taiwan’s Chang Kai-chen, who shocked then world No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia in Tokyo two weeks ago, defeated Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand 7-5, 6-1.
Compatriot Chan Yung-jan also reached the second round by crushing Carly Gullickson of the US 6-1, 6-1.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on