Robin Soderling barely broke a sweat as he routed Argentina’s Diego Junqueira 6-0, 6-1 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Swedish Open.
The top-seeded Swede will next face Italy’s Potito Starace, who opened strongly, but was pushed to three sets in a 6-0, 6-7 (5), 6-2 win over Jonathan Dasnieres De Veigy of France.
Third-seeded Thomas Berdych of the Czech Republic is also through to the quarter-finals after defeating Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 6-2.
Juan Monaco of Argentina, Spain’s Ruben Ramirez Hildago and Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria won their first-round matches and will be back in action on Thursday to fight for slots in the quarters.
AP, STUTTGART, GERMANY
Victor Hanescu of Romania saved two match points before beating top-seeded Gael Monfils 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the first round of the Mercedes Cup on Wednesday.
The match was suspended because of rain on Tuesday, with Monfils leading 4-2 in the first set. After clinching the set when the match resumed on Wednesday, the Frenchman had two match points in the second-set tiebreaker, but Hanescu saved them and went on to complete his first win over a top-10 player after 11 losses.
“To lose in the first round after two match points is hard, I am very disappointed,” said Monfils, who had 13 aces.
Monfils reached the final of the tournament last year, only to be forced to abandon the match against Albert Montanes of Spain because of injury.
Montanes also lost on Wednesday, going down 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar.
Marcel Granollers of Spain defeated seventh-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
Six of the eight seeded players have lost in the first round.
AP, BAD GASTEIN, AUSTRIA
Russia’s Ksenia Pervak saved six match points before reaching the quarter-finals of the Gastein Ladies by beating 16-year-old Nastja Kolar of Slovenia 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-2.
The eighth-seeded Pervak — the only seeded player to advance from the first round — will meet Laura Pous-Tio of Spain, who beat Germany’s Kristina Barrois 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5).
Carla Suarez Navarro, playing in her first WTA event since February, also advanced by defeating fellow Spanish player Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-3, 6-3 after saving all five break points she faced in the second set.
Suarez Navarro next plays Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine. The 88th-ranked Bondarenko beat Sweden’s Johanna Larsson, who reached the final in her native Bastad last week, 7-5, 6-0.
In a late first-round match, Austria’s Sybille Bammer, who came out of retirement for this event, rallied to beat sixth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6).
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017