Taiwanese No. 1 Lu Yen-hsun advanced to the second round of the Atlanta Open on Monday with a straight-sets victory over Malek Jaziri of Tunisia.
World No. 76 Lu survived a second-set fightback to defeat the world No. 77 6-1, 7-6 (14/12) on the hard courts at Atlantic Station.
Jaziri held his serve in the first game, but then Lu won six straight to wrap up the first set in just 24 minutes.
Jaziri then rallied in the second, breaking the Taiwanese No. 1 to take a 4-2 lead, but Lu broke back when the Tunisian was serving for the set at 5-4.
In the tiebreaker Lu survived six set points, before converting his third to wrap up the victory in 1 hour, 26 minutes.
Overall, Lu failed to save the single break point he faced, but converted four of five, winning 74 of the 128 points contested to advance to a second-round clash with second seed Vasek Pospisil of Canada, the world No. 29, who received a bye in the first round.
Also advancing to the second round in Atlanta on Monday were seventh seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, who cruised past Donald Young of the US 6-2, 6-1 in just 66 minutes, and Japan’s Go Soeda, who rallied to edge Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 in 2 hours, 13 minutes.
Lu is also competing in the doubles in Atlanta alongside Britain’s Jonathan Marray.
They have been drawn to play against wild-card US duo Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick in the first round.
DJOKOVIC’S SHADOW: Djokovic landed in Dubai after his deportation, while Serbia’s president said that Australia had ‘harassed’ and ‘humiliated’ the world No. 1 player Rafael Nadal yesterday opened his Australian Open campaign in storming style, as the first Grand Slam of the year finally began after a chaotic buildup dominated by the visa saga engulfing world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Defending women’s champion Naomi Osaka breezed into the second round, as did world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, but teenager Coco Gauff was an early big name casualty. The American 17-year-old was dumped out in straight sets by China’s Wang Qiang, who is ranked outside the top 100. The only Australian Open champion in the men’s draw after nine-time winner Djokovic’s sensational deportation, Nadal started his quest
The NBA has once again found itself in a China-linked controversy after serial dealmaker Chamath Palihapitiya, a part owner of the Golden State Warriors, dismissed concerns over human rights abuses facing the Uighur minority in China. “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uighurs, OK?” the Sri Lankan-born investor said during an episode of the All-In podcast on Saturday, reacting to a comment from cohost Jason Calacanis about the administration of US President Joe Biden’s “very strong” stance on the issue. “I’m telling you a very hard, ugly truth, OK? Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below
The MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates are “expected to sign” right-handed Taiwanese pitcher Chang Hung-leng for a US$500,000 signing bonus, MLB.com reported on Saturday. Twenty-year-old Chang, who graduated from Kaohsiung Municipal Sanmin Senior High School in 2020, has been a focus of local and international talent scouts because his fastballs can reach up to 151kph. After graduating high school, the 1.9m tall Chang joined a baseball training program at Asia University in Taichung, and turned out for the semi-professional Taiwan Power baseball team. If the deal closes, he would become the third active Taiwanese player in the Pirates system, joining pitcher Chen Po-yu and infielder
Former basketball star Yao Ming yesterday invited staunch Beijing critic Enes Kanter Freedom to visit China after the Boston Celtics player urged athletes to boycott the Winter Olympics in the capital. Kanter has emerged as one of China’s most vocal critics in the sporting world, a rare athlete willing to forgo lucrative endorsements to speak on issues such as Beijing’s treatment of its Uighur and Tibetan minorities. He has repeatedly spoken out on social media and been a guest on Western news shows as the Olympics nears. In recent interviews he has accused China of using “money to buy silence” and called on