Tue, Sep 30, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Former champ Ferrer out of Japan open in first round

AFP, TOKYO

Marcel Granollers knocked fellow Spaniard and former champion David Ferrer out of the Japan Open in a first-round upset yesterday 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

The win over the tournament’s second seed was the first for Granollers in six meetings with his compatriot, ranked fifth in the world.

The early loss is a blow to Ferrer’s chances as he fights to qualify for one of five remaining spots at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in November in London.

Ferrer, who also went out in the first round in Shenzhen last week, went down in just over two hours after his serve was broken four times.

“Every day in life is different,” the disappointed Spaniard said. “It’s impossible to win all the time. In the second set, I lost my focus and in the third he played better and took advantage. I’m sad to lose, I need to see what is going on with my game.”

Granollers rallied after losing the opening set, taking a 5-1 lead in the second set before Ferrer, known as a dogged competitor, pulled it back to 4-5. However, Granollers went on to take the set in the next game, bringing about a deciding set. The pair traded breaks from the fifth through seventh games as Ferrer dropped serve for the second time, 3-4.

The 2007 champion stayed in touch at 4-5, but was defeated a game later after saving two match points. Granollers converted on his third with a cross-court volley that left Ferrer with no chance.

South African seventh seed Kevin Anderson held off rising young ATP player Dominic Thiem 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to advance to the second round.

Thiem, who at 21 is the youngest player at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, reached the forth round of the US Open a few weeks after playing a final at home in Kitzbuehel.

Anderson took just 1 hour, 45 minutes, with 11 aces and four breaks of serve to claim his victory.

“He’s a good player with a lot of potential,” Anderson said. “I was pleased to get through. It’s been a couple of weeks since I played in New York. Sometimes after all that time between matches it can be tough. I’m happy with how I was able to play.”

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