Fri, Feb 04, 2011 - Page 8 News List

Spanish heart throb Lopez makes surprise early exit


Top seed and Spanish heart throb Feliciano Lopez made a shock first round exit from the South African Open on Wednesday after losing to Canadian Frank Dancevic.

The victor, ranked 201 places below the defending champion, won 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 7-6 (10/8) in a match interrupted by rain for two hours during the final set.

On a bad day for seeds, third Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia lost 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-7 (4/7) to Jesse Huta Galung of the Netherlands and seventh seed Rainer Schuettler fell 6-3, 4-6, 4-6 to Go Soeda.

The last-16 phase began later as the organizers played catch-up after two days of weather delays and South Africans Rik de Voest and Izak van der Merwe triumphed along with Indian Davis Cup star Somdev Devvarman.

Lopez, a favorite with female spectators at the Montecasino entertainment center, began impressively against Dancevic, winning most of his service games comfortably while Dancevic often held serve with difficulty.

However, the outsider did drag the opening set to a tie breaker won by Lopez and this boosted his confidence sufficiently for him to earn a 6-2 second-set success.

After 12 games with serve in the decisive set, Dancevic wasted three match points in the tie breaker and Lopez one before the Canadian made no mistake when he got a fourth chance.



Top-seeded Marin Cilic advanced to the quarter-finals of the Zagreb Indoors after defeating Igor Kunitsyn of Russia 7-6 (3), 6-2.

Earlier, fifth-seeded German Florian Mayer also advanced by overcoming Radek Stepanek from the Czech Republic 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Third-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain made it to the last eight by beating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.



Defending champion Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil rallied to defeat Rui Machado of Portugal 7-5, 1-6, 6-1 on Wednesday and reach the quarter-finals of the Movistar Open.

Bellucci was due to face Fabio Fognini of Italy in the last eight.


By Tony Phillips

Staff writer

Kazakhstan brought Taiwan’s Fed Cup hopes to an end yesterday with a 3-0 victory in their Asia/Oceania Group 1 round robin clash in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

A 1-2 defeat by South Korea a day earlier left Taiwan needing to win yesterday’s clash to stand a chance of progressing from Group B.

Kim Na-ri beat Chen Yi 6-1, 7-5 on Wednesday but Taiwan leveled after Lee Ye-ra retired with a hip injury in the second rubber.

In the doubles, Kim Na-ri and Kim So-jung secured the point for the Koreans when the Taiwanese duo were forced to pull out after Chen twisted an ankle.

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