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.”
“Every match for me is very important at this moment,” said the player who reached his third quarter-final of the season.
Monaco stood 23rd in the ATP rankings in early 2011 and won four titles — three on clay — in 2012. His last trophy came the week before last year’s French Open in Duesseldorf, Germany.
He stands outside the top 100 for the first time in more than eight years.
Argentine fifth seed Federico Delbonis was also sent packing by Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci as the two-time former champion advanced 6-4, 6-4.
Second seed Marcel Granollers fared far better, though, with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Swiss wild-card Yann Marti, while Spain’s Pablo Andujar beat Slovenia’s Blaz Rola 6-3, 6-3.
In a first-round match interrupted by darkness on Tuesday, Swiss wild-card Henri Laaksonen defeated Gianni Mina of France 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3).
AP, UMAG, Croatia
Defending champion Tommy Robredo beat fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Croatia Open.
Robredo, seeded second, converted only two out of 11 break-points on his way to victory. The Spaniard played a very solid game from the baseline and won 90 percent of his first serves.
Third seed Marin Cilic of Croatia also advanced, beating Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-3. It was Cilic’s fourth victory over Sijsling in as many encounters and the Croatian was dominant from the start.
He took a 5-2 lead in the first set, before Sijsling leveled for 5-5. Cilic then broke in the 12th game on his second set point.
Cilic, who won the tournament in 2012 and reached the 2011 final, broke again at 3-2 in the second set, before easily finishing off the match.
“It is good that I won in two sets, conditions here are tough with humidity and heat,” Cilic said. “I have adjusted well to the conditions, but winning as fast as possible is always recommended.”
Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic also reached the quarter-finals, defeating Spain’s Pere Riba 7-6 (7/4), 6-1. Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta advanced by walkover after Carlos Berlocq of Argentina withdrew.
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
’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.
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Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017