Sat, Jul 26, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Taiwanese No. 1 Lu falls to Becker at Atlanta Open

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with Reuters

Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun returns to Benjamin Becker of Germany in their BB&T Atlanta Open second-round match at Atlantic Station in Georgia on Thursday.

Photo: EPA

Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun crashed out of the BB&T Atlanta Open in Georgia on Thursday after a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Germany’s Benjamin Becker, who set up a quarter-final against Thiemo de Bakker.

No. 7 seed Lu served six double faults and failed to convert either of his break-point chances as the Taiwanese No. 1 was knocked out by the German in 1 hour, 19 minutes.

Becker won 86 percent of his first serves to set up the last eight clash with luck loser De Bakker of the Netherlands, who recorded a big upset by beating second seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa in straight sets.

Ranked a distant No. 142 in the world, the 25-year-old Dutch right-hander took down the world No. 17 6-4, 7-5.

“It proves that I can play against [the top players],” De Bakker told reporters.

For Anderson, the runner-up to John Isner last year, it was a disappointing night.

“I didn’t feel like my normal serve out there,” the Florida resident said. “I felt a step behind the whole match.”

Top seed Isner saved two match points before edging fellow American Robby Ginepri 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5.

The defending champion was set for an early exit when down 4-5 and 15-40 in the deciding third set, but he leaned on his rocket serve to fight back, level the match at 5-5 and then break Ginepri for the first time in the contest in the following game.

Isner then disposed of the world No. 281 quickly in his final service game, closing the contest with four straight aces to take his tally to 30 for the night.

“I was a nervous wreck out there, but fortunately for me I was able to hit two big serves and bring that game back to deuce, and it really turned the match around,” the world No. 12 told reporters. “He returns very well, that’s what he does best and he was giving me fits on my serve tonight. I actually served a lot better as the match progressed, and I had to because he was returning well and that last game, I can’t serve any better than that.”

Australia’s Marinko Matosevic, the eighth seed, was too good for Tim Cmyczek of the US as he won through 6-4, 7-5.

The Australian, who won 61 percent of his service points and converted five of seven break-point chances, faces Isner in the last eight.

SUISSE OPEN

AFP, GSTAAD, Switzerland

Top seed Mikhail Youzhny began his title defense at the Suisse Open on Thursday with a 6-3, 6-4 opening defeat of Frenchman Kenny de Schepper.

One day after enjoying a photo-opportunity fondue meal with his family at a local alpine mountainside refuge above the pedestrianized village, the 19th-ranked Russian cruised into the quarter-finals.

Youzhny set up a repeat of last year’s final as he faces seventh seed Robin Haase after the Dutchman overcame the last Swiss in the field, Henri Laaksonen, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

At the bottom of the draw, Viktor Troicki won his second match after his return from a one-year ban for asking to postpone a blood test in Monte Carlo in April last year due to feeling poorly. The Serb was hammered by a tribunal and is playing on his last wild-card entry with his ranking standing at No. 847.

He reached the last eight over Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4.

The day’s final match was hit by the weather, with rain leaving fourth seed Fernando Verdasco level with Germany’s Jan-Leonard Struff 3-6, 6-3, 1-1.

The event has been penalized at the box office by the withdrawal of Switzerland’s Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka, who cited the need to rest before the start of the North American hard-court season, despite having an appearance contract with the tournament.

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