Second seed Jurgen Melzer and Australian Lleyton Hewitt continued their summer hard-court losing streaks as they exited the Winston-Salem Open on Monday.
Hewitt, now ranked 165th after being world No. 1 with two Grand Slam titles a decade ago, was defeated by Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).
The 30-year-old Hewitt has been plagued this season with slow a recovery from foot surgery. He last played a month ago, winning a round in Atlanta before exiting. Hewitt went out in 1 hour, 40 minutes, losing serve four times.
“It could have gone better,” Hewitt said of the loss. “I’m still struggling a little bit with the foot. I knew he was a good competitor coming into the match. Before the [US] Open I’ll have to hit a lot of balls, get a lot of treatment and see what happens.”
Melzer, a French Open semi-finalist and Wimbledon doubles champion last year, went down 7-5, 6-3 to Russia’s Igor Andreev and has now lost in all three of his starts on the North American hard courts.
“It was a tough match, a tough first set,” Melzer said. “At 5-5, I had lots of break points, but couldn’t convert them. At the moment I’m not winning the important points. If you can’t do that, then you can’t win matches. In the second set, I let him off from several 0-30 situations. You really do need some luck. Unless you are playing really well, you hardly ever get that.”
The 18th-ranked Austrian was put out in his openers in Washington at the start of the month and last week in Cincinnati after suffering with injury. The 81st-ranked Andreev started his week on Sunday at the last tune-up before the US Open, defeating Australian teenager Bernard Tomic.
The Russian needed just over 90 minutes to go past Melzer, notching eight aces to six and breaking three times for the victory.
Andreev was joined in the third round by former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, who defeated Ryan Sweeting of the US 7-5, 6-1. Sweeting’s serve was broken five times.
In first-round play at the event shifted from New Haven, where it formerly shared a week with the WTA, Austria lost their second player as Argentine Carlos Berlocq defeated Andreas Haider-Maurer.
The 72nd-ranked Austrian, who lost the Vienna final to Melzer last autumn, retired injured against Berlocq to concede a 7-5, 4-1 victory.
Frenchman Julien Benneteau defeated Brazil’s Ricardo Mello 6-1, 6-3, while qualifier Michael Russell of the US beat Adrian Mannarino of France 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2.
Andy Roddick heads the field in this former tobacco processing town, while Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov takes the third seeding behind Melzer, with John Isner of the US, who lives not far away in Greesboro, the fourth seed.
Young Ryan Harrison provided a good showing for the home nation as he beat Romanian Victor Hanescu 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
NEW HAVEN OPEN
AFP, NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT
France’s Marion Bartoli wanted to get some extra work in before the US Open and the New Haven Open seemed like the perfect opportunity.
The 26-year-old, from Le Puy-en-Valay, breezed past Russia’s Anastasia Rodionova 6-1, 6-4 in her opening match at the final tournament.
“It was important for me to get more matches before the [US] Open started,” Bartoli said. “I think it’s just the perfect preparation. I have some matches here to play. I can practice as much as I want so it’s perfect.”