Gilles Simon of France needed nearly three hours to edge out Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun 6-7 (4/7), 7-5, 6-4 in his opening match at the Thailand Open on Wednesday.
“I was down a set and a break and he had points for 5-2,” said third-seed Simon, who is now through to the quarter-finals. “It was an amazing match. His level was really high and I had the sensation that I was also playing well.”
The match was only decided in the closing moments as Simon, the world No. 12, earned a break to go 5-4 up, before serving out the victory against a player ranked 56 places below him.
“I was almost on the plane back home at one point. I’m very happy to win this match,” the Frenchman said.
Simon will meet Matthias Bachinger in the quarter-finals today. The unseeded German beat Danai Udomchoke of Thailand, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Defending champion Guillermo Garcia-Lopez crashed out yesterday as second seed Gael Monfils survived a scare to win in three sets.
Spain’s Garcia-Lopez, the fourth seed, was stunned by US outsider Donald Young, ranked 55, who won 6-1, 6-7 (0/7), 7-5 after a match -lasting more than two-and-a-half hours.
Young will play in only his third career quarter-final at the ATP level when he meets Japan’s Go Soeda, who put out German Tobias Kamke 6-2, 7-6 (9/7).
Murray was due to begin his campaign at the event, where he finished runner-up six years ago to Roger Federer, against German Michael Berrer.
? MALAYSIAN OPEN
AFP, KUALA LUMPUR
Serbia’s Viktor Troicki swept into the quarter-finals of the Malaysian Open in straight sets yesterday, joined by former champion Nikolay Davydenko in the last eight.
Second seed Troicki beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-1, 6-4, while 2009 champion Davydenko put out Poland’s Lukasz Kubot 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) indoors at the Putra Stadium.
Troicki, a member of the Serbian team that lost to Argentina in the Davis Cup semi-finals, earned revenge for a defeat at the hands of Istomin in last year’s New Haven semi-finals.
“I lost to him in a strange match last year. I knew I had to play more offensive and take my chances when they came,” said the 15th-ranked Serb, who is next scheduled to face Russian Dmitry Tursunov.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
Neymar on Sunday claimed that he had been the victim of racism as he was one of five players sent off in a mass brawl at the end of Olympique de Marseille’s 1-0 win over Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. PSG’s Brazilian star appeared to accuse Alvaro Gonzalez of calling him a “monkey” in a series of furious tweets after he was sent off in stoppage-time for slapping the Marseille defender on the back of the head. “Look at the racism. That’s why I hit him,” Neymar, who was returning from COVID-19 quarantine, said as he left the pitch. “The only regret I