Fri, Feb 15, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Rafael Nadal pulls out of doubles

AFP, SAO PAULO, Brazil

Switzerland’s Roger Federer returns to Grega Zemlja of Slovenia in their World Indoor Tournament first-round match in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Rafael Nadal decided not to play his scheduled doubles match at the Brazil Open on Wednesday because of “knee overuse,” organizers said.

However, they said the Spanish star intended to play his opening singles match yesterday against Brazilian Joao Souza.

World No. 5 Nadal had been scheduled to team up with Argentina’s David Nalbandian in a second-round encounter against Argentine Horacio Zeballos and Oliver Marach of Austria.

Former world No. 1 Nadal only returned to the ATP Tour in Chile last week, where he lost in the final, after a seven-month injury absence.

“Nadal thought it was preferable to stay in his hotel and prepare for his singles match tomorrow,” a Brazil Open spokesman said. “He discussed the issue with Nalbandian and the two agreed not to play the doubles. It was a joint decision.”

Nalbandian told reporters the conditions were “very difficult.”

“The court is not in the best condition and the ball is very difficult to control,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nadal said on Tuesday that he plans to play in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, adding that it would likely mark his last time at the Games.

WORLD INDOOR

Reuters, ROTTERDAM, Netherlands

Roger Federer struggled to see the ball and felt the conditions at the World Indoor Tournament were a little too warm for his liking, but that did not stop the top seed from romping to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Slovenian Grega Zemlja in the first round on Wednesday.

Playing his first competitive match for almost three weeks, the Swiss defending champion struggled with his first serve in front of a capacity 10,500 crowd, but he still completed victory in 58 minutes.

He won 10 straight points in the first set to take a 4-2 lead and from then on Federer allowed his opponent only two more games to wrap up his 10th straight win in Rotterdam.

Fourth seed Richard Gasquet joined the 17-time Grand Slam champion in the second round with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 win over Serbia’s Viktor Troicki.

Gasquet next faces Marcos Baghdatis, who advanced after Benoit Paire pulled out injured. The Cypriot was leading 6-0, 6-7 (3/7), 4-0.

Gilles Simon, seeded fifth, and Julien Benneteau completed a good day for France.

Simon eased past Italian qualifier Matteo Viola 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarter-final, while Benneteau also dropped just four games in his 6-1, 6-3 win over Victor Hanescu.

SAP OPEN

AFP, SAN JOSE, California

Colombia’s Alejandro Falla saved six set points in the second set to post a 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (12/10) victory over Flavio Cipolla in the first round of the SAP Open on Wednesday.

Falla needed 2 hours, 35 minutes to edge the Italian, claiming the win on his 10th match point.

The world No. 66, Falla now faces seventh seed Marinko Matosevic in the second round.

In a battle of Americans, Michael Russell beat qualifier Donald Young 6-3, 7-5 in another first-round match.

Russell moves to the second round where he faces two-time defending champion Milos Raonic of Canada. Top seed Raonic received a bye through the first round.

Russell converted five of his six break points to improve to 4-1 against Young in career meetings.

Australian Matthew Ebden claimed his first win of the year when he beat qualifier Rik de Voest of South Africa 6-2, 7-5.

He meets Xavier Malisse for a place in the quarter-finals.

In another first-round match, Steve Johnson rallied to defeat Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 7-6 (8/6).

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