Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun, the No. 5 seed, who defeated Kevin King of the US 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday at the Atlanta Open to set up a second-round match against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, exited the doubles competition on Wednesday as he and Australian partner Marinko Matosevic lost to Israeli duo Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 4-6, 6-3, 10-4.
In the singles, Mardy Fish took a hit in his gradual return to full-time tennis, falling 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to Michael Russell.
It was only Fish’s fourth match since the US Open in September last year when he withdrew before a fourth-round match because of an irregular heartbeat.
Ranked No. 13 in the world in July last year, sixth seed Fish — the Atlanta Open winner in 2010 and 2011 — fell to 1-3 this season. He is ranked No. 63 after his first match since losing in a lower-level ATP Challenger tournament in April.
“He played really well,” said the 35-year-old Russell, ranked 85th.
“He was coming up with 130mph [209kph] serves. I couldn’t tell. Usually when somebody takes four months off, they’re a little rusty, but it was really good tennis,” he said.
Russell took advantage of a rain delay — the match began on Tuesday — to make racket adjustments.
“It definitely helped me a little bit,” Russell said about the delay. “I was able to change my string tension. I was pleased with the rain delay.”
Seventh seed Lleyton Hewitt advanced to the quarter-finals with a deceivingly difficult 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 win over wild-card Rhyne Williams.
The 32-year-old Hewitt, ranked 64th in the world, trailed 2-6 in the tiebreaker, before winning six straight points and only broke serve in the second set in the deciding game.
While Hewitt and Russell stood up for the old guard, 19-year-old Chrisitian Harrison won his first match in an ATP Tour main draw. A wild-card entry, world No. 373 Harrison beat Alejandro Falla 6-1, 6-7 (7/9), 6-2.
Harrison next plays top seed John Isner in the second round. Isner and second seed Kevin Anderson have yet to play.
Additional reporting by staff writer
AP, UMAG, Croatia
Spain’s Albert Montanes upset top seed Richard Gasquet of France 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Croatia Open.
Montanes was up 3-1 in the second set before Gasquet responded by winning three games in a row, but the Spaniard broke again at 4-4.
Gasquet said he has been bothered by a shoulder problem since Wimbledon and could not play his best tennis.
“I lost my momentum on clay and now I am very disappointed,” Gasquet said. “I started to play better in the second set, but I was not 100 percent.”
Earlier, third seed Fabio Fognini of Italy and sixth seed Martin Klizan of Slovenia also advanced to the quarter-finals, along with Gael Monfils of France.
Monfils had no problems against Slovenian qualifier Blaz Kavcic, winning 6-3, 6-1 in 69 minutes.
Kavcic, who ousted seventh seed Florian Mayer of Germany in the opening round, led 3-2 in the first set, before Monfils won 10 out of next 11 games.
It is the sixth quarter-final of the season for Monfils.
Fognini defeated Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-3, while Klizan rallied to beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3).
Fognini made several unforced errors at the start of the match to hand De Bakker a 5-1 lead, but then won nine consecutive games to take control.
Fognini earned his 11th consecutive singles victory, after winning titles in Germany at Stuttgart and Hamburg.
“I was not consistent at the beginning, obviously I did not play great tennis, but after 10 matches in a row in two weeks it could be expected,” Fognini said. “I started slow, then I started to fight for every point.”
Klizan was up 4-1 in the third set, then failed to serve out the match at 6-5, before clinching the win in the tiebreaker.
Mayer jumped out to a 4-1 lead at the start, but Klizan won 10 out of 12 games after dropping the first set.
AFP, GSTAAD, Switzerland
Second seed Stanislas Wawrinka gave away a double break, but regained the initiative to beat Spain’s Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) on Wednesday in a nervous, but winning start to the Swiss Open.
The Lausanne player looked to be cruising to a straightforward success against world No. 62 Gimeno-Traver, but the Spaniard had other ideas, recapturing both second set breaks — Wawrinka had a match point in the 12th game — and forcing the clay contest into a tiebreaker.
A 12th ace from the big-hitting 10th-ranked Swiss earned three more match points in the decider, with Gimeno-Traver saving the first with an ace, before finally going down through a backhand error.
Wawrinka, winner of the clay title this year in Lisbon and runner-up at the Madrid Masters to Rafael Nadal, takes on another Spaniard when he plays Feliciano Lopez in the next round.
The fifth seed from Madrid earned a 6-4, 6-3 win over Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.
Wawrinka was pleased with his great escape in front of his home fans at the elite Alpine venue located at 800m above sea level.
“It was not an easy match and I’m just glad to win it,” said Wawrinka, a 2005 finalist in Gstaad. “It is always tough conditions here on fast clay and there was also wind. I’m very happy to go through, I’m having a good season and it’s important for me to try and follow through with this performance. Lopez is a tough lefty and I’ll have to play a solid match to beat him.”
The 2004 champion and 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer takes the top seeding, but did not start until yesterday when he faced Germany’s Daniel Brands in the second round.
Federer was set to be willed to win by a capacity crowd, some of whom would be occupying the 800 additional seats installed in the expanded grandstands shortly after the tennis icon announced his return in the wake of a Wimbledon second-round disappointment last month.
History repeated itself on Tuesday in a welcoming ceremony, with Federer being presented on court with his second milk cow by the event organizers, who did the same for him in 2003 after he won his first Wimbledon.
“She won’t be in my trophy room, that’s for sure,” Federer said. “Now I need to find a garage for a cow, although I have no idea what a cow garage looks like.”
Lopez got the day’s only win for Spain from four second-round matches.
Spaniards own two of the last three Gstaad titles through Nicolas Almagro and Marcel Granollers.
Lopez wasted no time in advancing, winning the opening set with a break of serve against Kuznetsov and then taking a 5-3 lead on his second break of the sunny afternoon, before booking a last-eight place after little more than an hour.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez was crushed 6-1, 6-2 as Argentine Juan Monaco won his opening career match at the event.
There was more Spanish disappointment for Pablo Andujar, beaten 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in just over two hours by Russian sixth seed Mikhail Youzhny.