Thu, Feb 20, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Taiwan’s Lu retires with injury

TALE OF WOE:Lu Yen-hsun won the first set against Ivo Karlovic, but could not carry on, while Lee Hsin-han and Wang Chieh-fu were ousted from the doubles in Marseille

AFP and Reuters, DELRAY BEACH, Florida

Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun retired after a first-set win at the ATP Delray Beach Open on Tuesday, while top seed Tommy Haas and eighth seed Lleyton Hewitt breezed into the second round.

Taiwan’s Lu, who was coming off a retirement due to a neck injury in a Memphis semi-final against Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, won his first set 6-4, but then retired against Ryan Harrison after the American held serve to open the second set.

Harrison next faces Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili, who rallied to beat Australia’s Matthew Ebden 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

World No. 12 Haas, who won the event in 2006, needed only 55 minutes to eliminate US qualifier Wayne Odesnik 6-2, 6-1, while 32-year-old Australian Hewitt, cheered on by countryman and golf legend Greg Norman, took 65 minutes to oust Bradley Klahn of the US 6-3, 6-1.

Haas’ win secured a second-round match against US qualifier Steve Johnson, who defeated Kazakstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3.

Hewitt, who now has 598 ATP match wins, next faces fellow Australian Marinko Matosevic, who downed Belgium’s David Goffin 6-2, 6-4.

Haas may be at an age when most professionals are winding down their careers, but the 35-year-old German proved he still has plenty to offer with his dominant first-round victory.

“With injuries, I lost probably three or four years of my career,” Haas, ranked 12th in the world, told reporters. “I always felt I wanted to end this on my terms, like when the mind is not there anymore or physically I can’t do it anymore. I just want to continue and enjoy.”

Haas, who once rose as high as No. 2 in the world, never faced a break point during his lopsided win and is looking to win the tournament for the first time since 2006.

On a day when veterans were keen to impose themselves, former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt was equally as impressive in his demolition of Klahn.

The Australian, who captured the Delray Beach title back in 1999, would have been delighted with his display, particularly as the eighth seed’s compatriot, golf legend Greg Norman, was one of the spectators.

The younger seeded players in the draw had a much tougher time advancing, though, including John Isner, who rallied from a set down to edge fellow American Michael Russell 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

Isner, the second seed, needed every one of his 20 aces to prevail and was unable to crack Russell’s serve in the first two sets, before breaking his opponent twice in the decisive third.

Kei Nishikori and Kevin Anderson, the third and fourth seeds respectively, also needed three sets to eke out wins.

Japan’s Nishikori outlasted Portugal’s Gastao Elias 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, while South Africa’s Anderson rallied past Tim Smyczek of the US 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

MARSEILLE OPEN

AP, MARSEILLE, France

Sixth seed Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France ground out a 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 victory over big-serving Ante Pavic of Croatia in the first round of the Open 13 on Tuesday.

Pavic had 23 aces, compared with 13 for Roger-Vasselin, who saved seven of the nine break-point chances he faced. He next plays Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky after he rallied past qualifier Daniel Evans 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.

Meanwhile, Nikolay Davydenko of Russia had 12 aces as he comfortably beat Dutchman Igor Sijsling 6-4, 6-4.

Davydenko, who reached a career highest ranking of world No. 3, next faces second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the defending champion. Tsonga leads 3-2 in their career head-to-heads.

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