Thu, Aug 11, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Murray crushed in his first match at Rogers Cup

AFP, MONTREAL

Serena Williams of the US reacts during her game against Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine at the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Tuesday.

Photo: Reuters

Andy Murray’s title defense at the ATP Rogers Cup collapsed on Tuesday as the off-form Scot was crushed 6-3, 6-1 in his opening match by South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.

The two-time defending champion was bundled out in 69 minutes in his second-round start.

While Murray’s Montreal campaign ended abruptly, top-seeded Novak Djokovic could not even get his going as rain rolled into the city in the early evening and eventually forced the postponement of Djokovic’s scheduled second-round opener against Russian Nikolay Davydenko.

More poor weather was predicted for the area yesterday, when second-seed Rafael Nadal and two-time Canadian winner Roger Federer were both due on court for their first matches in the US Open tuneup.

Djokovic was to play his first match as a reigning world No. 1.

He has ascended the rankings summit with a stellar season in which he boasts a 48-1 win-loss record with eight titles.

He and former top-five regular Davydenko have not played since 2009.

Djokovic won the Canadian trophy in 2007 and has never lost in Canada prior to the quarter-finals with a 12- record in the country. Before the storms rolled in, Frenchman Richard Gasquet produced a repeat of his Davis Cup victory last month over Florian Mayer as he defeated the German 6-3, 6-2.

A month ago, the 10th-seeded Gasquet won their Davis Cup encounter in Stuttgart after the 23rd-ranked Mayer served for the match at 5-4 in the fifth set.

Germany’s Philipp Petzschner defeated French ninth-seed Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-2, while Michael Llodra of France notched an upset victory over Russian 11th-seed Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

Murray, who had hoped to start his summer after several weeks of grueling preparation in Miami, remained baffled by his failure to fire when it mattered against Anderson.

“I just felt very slow, the game seemed to be going so fast,” Murray said. “It’s happened to me already once this year.”

“I’ve trained really hard to get ready for the tournament. I’ve always played very well here,” he said. “Today I couldn’t get anything going. I started both sets really, really badly which doesn’t help against someone that serves like Kevin. I was down a break early. I didn’t get anything going at all.”

WOMEN’S SINGLES

AFP, TORONTO

Kim Clijsters’ US Open title defense is in doubt after she pulled out of the WTA Rogers Cup tournament on Tuesday with a stomach muscle injury.

Clijsters was leading 6-3, 1-2 in her second-round match against China’s Zheng Jie when she hit a forehand, shook her head and departed.

It was another setback for the Australian Open champion from Belgium, who injured her right ankle in April and then pulled out of -tournaments in Rome and Madrid with right shoulder and wrist injuries.

Clijsters said she still hoped to defend her title at the US Open, the final Grand Slam of the season that starts on Aug. 29 in New York.

“I still have a few weeks till [the US Open] and we’ll try to do everything to be ready,” said Clijsters, who delivered an unusual six double faults before calling it a day after 54 minutes on court.

“During the match it just felt like it went worse,” Clijsters said. “I already had an ultrasound here on site and I have a partial tear in my left stomach muscle and a little bit of blood.”

Unseeded Serena Williams continued her own injury comeback in emphatic style, crushing Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko 6-0, 6-3 to book a second-round berth.

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