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ATP: Lu exits Atlanta Open doubles

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AP, ATLANTA, Georgia

Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun returns to Israeli duo Jonathan Elrich and Andy Ram in his Atlanta Open doubles match with partner Marinko Matosevic of Australia at Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun, the No. 5 seed, who defeated Kevin King of the US 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday at the Atlanta Open to set up a second-round match against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, exited the doubles competition on Wednesday as he and Australian partner Marinko Matosevic lost to Israeli duo Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 4-6, 6-3, 10-4.

In the singles, Mardy Fish took a hit in his gradual return to full-time tennis, falling 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to Michael Russell.

It was only Fish’s fourth match since the US Open in September last year when he withdrew before a fourth-round match because of an irregular heartbeat.

Ranked No. 13 in the world in July last year, sixth seed Fish — the Atlanta Open winner in 2010 and 2011 — fell to 1-3 this season. He is ranked No. 63 after his first match since losing in a lower-level ATP Challenger tournament in April.

“He played really well,” said the 35-year-old Russell, ranked 85th.

“He was coming up with 130mph [209kph] serves. I couldn’t tell. Usually when somebody takes four months off, they’re a little rusty, but it was really good tennis,” he said.

Russell took advantage of a rain delay — the match began on Tuesday — to make racket adjustments.

“It definitely helped me a little bit,” Russell said about the delay. “I was able to change my string tension. I was pleased with the rain delay.”

Seventh seed Lleyton Hewitt advanced to the quarter-finals with a deceivingly difficult 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 win over wild-card Rhyne Williams.

The 32-year-old Hewitt, ranked 64th in the world, trailed 2-6 in the tiebreaker, before winning six straight points and only broke serve in the second set in the deciding game.

While Hewitt and Russell stood up for the old guard, 19-year-old Chrisitian Harrison won his first match in an ATP Tour main draw. A wild-card entry, world No. 373 Harrison beat Alejandro Falla 6-1, 6-7 (7/9), 6-2.

Harrison next plays top seed John Isner in the second round. Isner and second seed Kevin Anderson have yet to play.

Additional reporting by staff writer

CROATIA OPEN

AP, UMAG, Croatia

Spain’s Albert Montanes upset top seed Richard Gasquet of France 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Croatia Open.

Montanes was up 3-1 in the second set before Gasquet responded by winning three games in a row, but the Spaniard broke again at 4-4.

Gasquet said he has been bothered by a shoulder problem since Wimbledon and could not play his best tennis.

“I lost my momentum on clay and now I am very disappointed,” Gasquet said. “I started to play better in the second set, but I was not 100 percent.”

Earlier, third seed Fabio Fognini of Italy and sixth seed Martin Klizan of Slovenia also advanced to the quarter-finals, along with Gael Monfils of France.

Monfils had no problems against Slovenian qualifier Blaz Kavcic, winning 6-3, 6-1 in 69 minutes.

Kavcic, who ousted seventh seed Florian Mayer of Germany in the opening round, led 3-2 in the first set, before Monfils won 10 out of next 11 games.

It is the sixth quarter-final of the season for Monfils.

Fognini defeated Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-3, while Klizan rallied to beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3).

Fognini made several unforced errors at the start of the match to hand De Bakker a 5-1 lead, but then won nine consecutive games to take control.

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