Wed, Jul 20, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Russell advances at Atlanta champs

GOOD START:Russell beat his compatriot in 72 minutes and will next face second seed Kevin Anderson, who was a semi-finalist in last year’s inaugural tournament

AFP, ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Michael Russell won the first match of the pre-US Open summer hard-court season on Monday, starting the ATP Atlanta Championships with a 6-0, 6-3 thrashing of fellow American Donald Young.

Russell, 33, won his first main-draw match since early last month at Queen’s Club with his 72-minute hammering of one-time prodigy Young.

Russell advanced on the first of three match points in steamy, hot conditions after breaking the hapless Young five times.

He will next play South African second seed Kevin Anderson, a semi-finalist in the event’s inaugural edition last year. The 123rd-ranked Young lost his 10th match of the season.

The defending champion, American Mardy Fish, is top seed as he returns from a week of rest due to a lingering abdominal muscle strain. Fish beat Wimbledon marathon man John Isner in last year’s final.

Fish joked on Monday that North Carolina-born Isner, who went to university in Georgia before moving onto the ATP, is a favorite almost everywhere he goes in the US.

“The guy has 10 hometowns,” said Fish, who starts today after a bye awarded to the leading four seeds. “He’s from everywhere.”

Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller eliminated the week’s first seed as he put out No. 7 Alex Bogomolov of the US 6-3, 7-6 (8/6).

Second seed Isner is pleased to be back in his southern heartland after winning a grass title a week ago in Newport.

He makes his hard-court start against James Blake, who beat Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2.

“I don’t really care what surface it’s on so I’m coming to this event with the most confidence I’ve had all year,” said the big man, who set a record with the longest match ever at Wimbledon last year against Nicolas Mahut.

“Up to last week, the year had been a disappointment, so it was good to get that win under my belt. It takes a lot of pressure off, so I can go out there and free up and just play,” Isner said.

In other matches on Monday, Japan’s Tatsuma Ito defeated Michael Berrer of Germany 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 and Somdev Devvarman of India beat Ryan Sweeting of the US 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

GERMAN OPEN

AP, HAMBURG, GERMANY

Three German players defeated higher-ranked opponents on Monday to advance to the second round of the German Open.

Qualifier Bastian Knittel beat Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-4, 6-3 for his first tour-level victory of the year.

Wild-card Tobias Kamke, the ATP Newcomer of the Year last year, routed Pere Riba 6-1, 6-1 and he is now 2-0 against the Spaniard.

Julian Riester beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-3, 6-4 to avenge last year’s defeat in the third round in Hamburg.

Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic beat Potito Starace of Italy 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland defeated Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-4, 6-3.

Also advancing to the second round were Albert Ramos of Spain, Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine, Carlos Berlocq of Argentina and Victor Crivoi of Romania.

The 16 seeded players, led by No. 1 Gael Monfils, all had byes into the second round.

BAKU CUP

AP, BAKU

Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan brushed aside Sofia Shapatava of Georgia 6-0, 6-0 on Monday in the first round of the inaugural Baku Cup.

Voskoboeva never faced a break point and lost just four points on her first serve, wrapping up the victory in 54 minutes on the outdoor hard-court of the Baku Tennis Academy.

Vesna Dolonts of Russia also advanced by defeating Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-3, 6-3, while sixth-seeded Elena Baltacha of Britain lost 6-1, 7-5 to another Ukrainian, Mariya Koryttseva.

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