Wed, Jan 07, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Hsieh begins new year, duo with win

FRESH START:The Taiwanese inaugurated her nascent partnership with India’s Sania Mirza by rallying to claim victory in their Brisbane International doubles opener

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with agencies, BEIJING, CHENNAI, INDIA, AND BRIS

Lu was due to play his first singles match of the year against India’s Somdev Devvarman yesterday.

Although 29-year-old Devvarman has beaten Lu in the Davis Cup, the Taiwanese performed better on the Tour last year, climbing from world No. 65 to No. 38.

Devvarman, who was the world No. 62 in 2011 before injuries saw his ranking tumble to No. 136, told the India Today Web site: “It is going to be tough. He has had a fantastic year. We practiced together in Doha during the off-season and I know he can be a difficult opponent.”

In the singles action, eighth seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg launched his bid with a grueling three-set win over last year’s finalist Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France.

The big-serving Muller was stretched by the valiant Frenchman before winning 6-7 (11/13), 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) in 2 hours, 23 minutes.

Seventh seed Marcel Granollers of Spain conceded his first-round match with Andreas Haider-Maurer due to a knee injury after the Austrian took a 2-0 lead in the third set.

Haider-Maurer won 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 2-0 after two hours.

Muller, ranked 46th in the world, said he was relieved to start the season with a win.

In the last match on Monday night, rising Croatian star Borna Coric brushed aside Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-2.

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