Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun, the No. 5 seed, began warming up on Tuesday for the hard courts of the US Open with a 6-3, 7-5 win over qualifier Kevin King in the first round of a rain-soaked Atlanta Open.
Lleyton Hewitt also had a 6-4, 6-4 win over Eduoard Roger-Vasselin. Seventh seed Hewitt, who was runner-up two weeks ago on grass in Newport, Rhode Island, was one of three seeded players to finish his match before a pair of evening rain delays. Play was eventually suspended until yesterday.
Eighth seed Evgeny Donskoy beat Rajeev Ram 6-3, 6-4, while sixth seed Mardy Fish was leading Michael Russell 6-4, 2-4 (15-0 on serve) when their match was delayed for a second time.
It was just Fish’s third tournament since he withdrew from the US Open in September last year because of an irregular heartbeat.
The top four seeds, Jon Isner, Kevin Anderson, Ivan Dodig and Igor Sijsling, had first-round byes.
Hewitt, the former world No. 1 who won the US Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002, is looking forward to the final Grand Slam event of the year, even though it is more than a month away. He is currently ranked No. 64 in the world.
“I hadn’t hit a lot on hard court. I’ve always found that coming from grass to hard court is difficult,” Hewitt said after winning in 88 minutes. “I feel like I’ve played very well for the most part ... I’m preparing for the US Open. When you’ve been No. 1 and won Slams, the big ones are what motivate you.”
AP, GSTAAD, Switzerland
Thomaz Bellucci’s defense of his Swiss Open title ended in the first round on Tuesday when he lost to Federico Delbonis, who beat Roger Federer in Germany last week.
Argentine Delbonis won 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) against Brazilian Bellucci, who also took the clay-court title at Swiss ski resort Gstaad in 2009.
Delbonis continues to rise in the world rankings after his victory over Federer in the Hamburg semi-finals helped him climb from No. 114 to No. 65.
Federer is the top seed in Gstaad and has a second-round match scheduled today against Daniel Brands of Germany, who took a set off him in the second round in Hamburg. Brands advanced from the first round on Tuesday by beating Marco Chiudinelli, Federer’s Swiss childhood friend, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Four Spaniards had first-round wins. Eighth seed Roberto Bautista eased past Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland 6-2, 6-3; Daniel Gimeno-Traver beat Kenny de Schepper of France 6-4, 6-4; Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeated Adrian Ungur of Romania 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-1; and Pablo Andujar eliminated Victor Crivoi of Romania 6-1, 6-2.
Victor Hanescu got a win for Romania, beating German qualifier Dustin Brown 7-6 (8/6), 6-2.
Robin Haase of the Netherlands beat Joao Souza of Brazil 6-4, 7-6 (9/7) and next faces third seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.
AP, UMAG, Croatia
Fifth seed Tommy Robredo of Spain cruised into the second round of the Croatia Open on Tuesday, beating Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2.
Robredo mostly kept to the baseline and he needed only 71 minutes to outplay Hajek.
The Czech, ranked No. 133, was nowhere close to the level he showed last week in Hamburg, where he lost to Roger Federer in the third round.
Robredo first broke for a 4-2 lead, but then lost serve, before breaking again. In the second set, Hajek was 2-1 up, but then lost five games in a row.
Sixth seed Martin Klizan of Slovenia also made it easily into the second round, beating Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-1.