Second-seeded Ivo Karlovic and hard-serving Australian Sam Groth both won their opening matches at the ATP Tour’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Monday.
Croatia’s Karlovic hammered 17 aces in defeating US wild card Robby Ginepri 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, while Groth fired 11 aces in a 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 straight-sets win over fifth seed Donald Young in the grass-court tournament in Newport, Rhode Island.
Karlovic and Groth rely heavily on their serves to get the job done. The 2.08m-tall Karlovic held the record for the fastest serve in pro tennis at 251kph before Groth beat him in 2012 with a 263kph blast.
Groth, who comes from Narrandera, New South Wales, moves on to the second round, where he will face Malek Jaziri, who beat Ricardas Berankis 7-5, 6-3 on Monday.
Karlovic will play the winner of a match between Farrukh Dustov and Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Also, Steve Johnson breezed past fellow American Clay Thompson 6-1, 6-2 and former champion Rajeev Ram moved on with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Aussie Matthew Ebden. Ram was a surprise winner in 2009.
Israeli Dudi Sela defeated Pole Michal Przysiezny 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) and Japan’s Tatsuma Ito beat US wild card Mitchell Krueger 7-6 (9/7), 6-1.
The top seed is two-time champion John Isner of the US who was to open his tournament against qualifier Wayne Odesnik yesterday.
Two-time finalist Nicolas Mahut of France overcame former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in last year’s Newport finale and they were to meet again yesterday, when Taiwan’s Jimmy Wang was to face off against Adrian Mannarino of France in his opening match.
AP, STUTTGART, Germany
Andrey Golubev on Monday defeated German wild card Philipp Petzschner 6-4, 6-1 to set up a second-round clash with defending champion Fabio Fognini in the Mercedes Cup.
The 61st-ranked Kazakh player hit six aces to win the match in 80 minutes, while Fognini, the top-seeded Italian, received a first-round bye at the clay-court event.
In other matches, eighth-seeded Federico Delbonis of Argentina defeated compatriot Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-1, while another Argentine, Leonardo Mayer, rallied from a set down to defeat German wild card Michael Berrer 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Mayer will next play second-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, who also received a first-round bye.
AP. BASTAD, Sweden
Pere Riba retired after only one game at the Swedish Open on Monday, allowing fifth-seeded Joao Sousa of Portugal to advance to the second round of the clay-court tournament.
The Spaniard won the game before retiring with a neck strain at Bastad Tennis Stadium in Sweden.
Also on Monday, Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi beat Swedish wild card Markus Eriksson 6-2, 6-1 and Dusan Lajovic of Serbia ousted Albert Montanes of Spain 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4).
David Ferrer is the top-seeded player. He has a first-round bye.
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘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
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She