Fri, Jul 09, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Querrey falls to curse of top seed

AFP , NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

China’s Peng Shuai returns to Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia during their women’s singles match at the Budapest Grand Prix on Wednesday.

PHOTO: EPA

Top seed Sam Querrey of the US was sent crashing out in the second round of the ATP Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Wednesday.

Querrey’s loss extended the No. 1 seed’s run of never winning the title in the 34 years of the tournament.

Querrey, ranked 19th entering the week, was beaten by Jamaica’s Dustin Brown 6-4, 6-3 in 47 minutes. Querrey has won three events this season.

Brown hammered 14 aces en route to his first victory against a player ranked in the top 20.

“I wasn’t expecting to break him. I knew I was serving well,” Brown said. “When I broke him, I just wanted to continue to serve well. Everything just struck together for me. It’s going to take a while to sink in.”

The 25-year-old Brown relied on a quick pace and big serve to frustrate Querrey. He has rocketed up the rankings in the past year, going from being in the 400s to No. 108.

Brown seized control by breaking Querrey to go up 3-2 in the fifth game of the second set, winning with a nifty drop-shot from in close.

Both players held serve and Brown led 4-3 at the changeover. He didn’t sit during the break, came back out and closed the eighth game with three consecutive aces.

“Half the time I was walking over to the other side and the ball was in the air for him to serve,” Querrey said.

The match ended when Querrey hit a forehand return into the net after Brown moved to match-point with a backhand passing shot down the sideline.

Querrey said he had a tough time figuring out Brown.

“He’s a very unorthodox player,” Querrey said. “You don’t see that often. Kudos to him.”

In other matches, fifth seed Mardy Fish also advanced to the quarter-­finals with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Somdev Dewarman.

Nicolas Mahut, who advanced on Tuesday in his first match after losing to John Isner at Wimbledon in the longest match in tennis history, lost to Frank Dancevic, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3. Defending champion Rajeev Ram was ousted by Raven Klaasen, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3).

Mahut said he’s going to take a break.

“I have to. I can’t play in this shape. I have to take two weeks off to see how my body heals,” he said. “Today my lower back, my foot and my knee were really bothering me. I tried. I tried. I kept fighting. After Wimbledon I got here and was feeling great. I don’t know why.”

No. 4 seed Olivier Rochus of Belgium advanced by beating Ukraine’s Sergei Bubka 6-3, 6-3.

■SWEDISH OPEN

AP, BASTAD, Sweden

Flavia Pennetta cruised into the quarter-finals of the Swedish Open with a straight-sets victory over Sloane Stephens of the US on Wednesday.

The top-seeded Italian produced a dominant display to brush aside newcomer Stephens 6-1, 6-1.

Pennetta, who has given up only four games in the first two rounds of the WTA clay-court tournament, will face veteran Jill Craybas next, after the American defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Also advancing was second-seeded Aravane Rezai. The Frenchwoman beat Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2.

It was the second time the pair have faced off, and like in their first match, Rezai comfortably beat the player ranked more than 60 places below her.

Rezai is likely to face more of a test in the quarter-finals when she plays fifth-seeded Arantxa Parra Santonja, who beat fellow Spaniard Nuria Llagostera Vives 6-4, 6-3.

Also, Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic had to come from behind to beat Karolina Sprem of Croatia 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. It was a hard-fought victory for third-seeded Safarova, who rallied at the end of the second set to save the match, before winning the third.

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