Fri, Jul 25, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Taiwan’s Lu defies fatigue to advance

JET-SETTER:Lu Yen-hsun’s first match was postponed after the OEC Kaohsiung Challenge Cup overran and the Taiwanese only had half a day in the US to prepare

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with Reuters

Taiwanese No. 1 and world No. 42 Lu Yen-hsun returns to lucky loser Alex Kuznetsov of the US in their BB&T Atlanta Open first-round singles match at Atlantic Station in Georgia on Wednesday.

Photo: EPA

Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun defied jet lag to advance to the second round of the BB&T Atlanta Open in Georgia on Wednesday.

After taking part in the OEC Kaohsiung Challenge Cup on Monday evening, Lu flew to Atlanta to begin the US summer season. The No. 7 seed’s first-round match against lucky loser Alex Kuznetsov of the US was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but the delay to the tournament in Greater Kaohsiung meant it was postponed to Wednesday.

Despite having endured an 18-hour journey to Atlanta via Los Angeles and having only half a day in the US to become accustomed to the time difference, the Taiwanese No. 1 defeated the world No. 171 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour, 22 minutes.

The world No. 42 saved six of seven break-point chances and converted three of eight to set up a second-round clash with world No. 66 Benjamin Becker of Germany, the runner-up at the Dutch Open this year.

Lu told reporters he felt pretty good in the first set, but that the fatigue and jet lag caused him to become a little distracted in the second.

Lu and Australia’s Matthew Ebden were also due to face second seeds Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Scott Lipsky of the US in the first round of the doubles on Tuesday, but they had to pull out of the tie after Ebden injured his wrist during his 6-4, 6-2 defeat to Becker in the first round of the singles.

In the second-round singles matches on Wednesday, big serving Sam Querrey of the US was bounced out 6-2, 6-4 by Israel’s Dudi Sela.

Despite notching eight aces to none and winning 86 percent of points on his first serve, ninth seed Querrey won just six of 26 second-serve points to be ousted by the world No. 94.

That was not the only shock of the second round, with sixth seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan taken out by Slovakian world No. 91 Lukas Lacko 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.

Lacko saved eight of 12 break-point chances to catapult him toward victory, while Istomin could only save one of seven.

In other second-round matches, fourth seed Vasek Pospisil of Canada beat qualifier Illya Marchenko of Ukraine 7-5, 6-3 to set up a clash with Sela, while 21-year-old Jack Sock of the US took out New Zealand’s Michael Venus 6-4, 6-2 to advance to a third-round encounter with Lacko.

“Obviously, the summer is going pretty well so far,” Sock told reporters. “I won some matches at the French [Open], Wimbledon was a great showing for me, Newport winning three matches and two matches here so far, so confidence is probably the highest it has ever been.”


AFP, GSTAAD, Switzerland

Juan Monaco held his nerve in a tight final set to upset third seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 on Wednesday for a second consecutive place in a quarter-final at the Suisse Open.

The Argentine, whose ranking has dropped to world No. 105, has won six of his eight meetings with Garcia-Lopez, who he also beat in the second round in Gstaad a year ago.

The unseeded South American missed his first chance to serve out victory in the concluding set, but advanced to the last eight on his second opportunity two games later, going through on his second match point.

A year ago, Monaco held a match point in his quarter-final against eventual Suisse Open champion and current top seed Mikhail Youzhny.

“I like Gstaad, last year I played a great match against the champion. We both deserved to win it. I was happy with conditions [at 1,010m altitude] and I’m back again,” Monaco said. “This year, I’m feeling great. I was a little nervous when I was serving for the match at 5-2. I missed that opportunity, but I just tried to get focused on the changeover, thinking of where I’m going to serve. I had to play relaxed, it’s the only way to play a good game. The last game was difficult, but I’m m happy with how I played today.”

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