Eighth seed Lukas Rosol smashed 16 aces as he continued an upturn in form with a three-set win over Poland’s Lukasz Kubot at the Thailand Open yesterday.
The giant Czech, who has endured a dismal run since claiming his breakthrough ATP Tour title in April, beat Kubot 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2).
Right-handed Rosol, who stands 1.96m tall, relied on his booming serve on the Bangkok hard court to secure his passage into the second round, but the close match had to be settled by a third-set tiebreaker, where Rosol took a 5-0 lead, before claiming victory with the first of four match points as Wimbledon quarter-finalist Kubot hit the net with a backhand return.
“The third set was not easy,” Rosol said. “He was playing tough, aggressive tennis. I was lucky to win it, but I’m really glad I did. It’s great to be in the second round.”
His summer had been one to forget with eight consecutive opening-round losses, starting at Wimbledon where he failed to emulate his heroics of last year when he knocked out Rafael Nadal in an epic five-setter.
However, after reaching the quarter-finals last week in St Petersburg, Russia, Rosol said his hard work on the training courts was paying off.
In other matches yesterday, Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko moved into the second round by beating Colombia’s Alejandro Falla 6-3, 6-2 and there was more bad news for Colombia when Japan’s Go Soeda defeated Santiago Giraldo 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
A back injury for Ivo Karlovic helped Australia’s Bernard Tomic advance into the second round as his Croation opponent quit trailing 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 4-2.
Tomic, winner of the Sydney title in January, spent nearly two hours battling the 34-year-old Karlovic, who dropped out in the third set as his injury problems set in.
Tomic improved to 24-16 for the season and he next faces last year’s finalist Gilles Simon, the French fourth seed.
Australian Marinko Matosevic joined Tomic in the next round after he crushed Thai wild-card Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul 6-1, 6-1.
AFP, KUALA LUMPUR
Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko blamed a wrist injury for his shock first-round defeat at the Malaysian Open yesterday.
The world No. 45, who won the tournament in its inaugural year in 2009, said he has been suffering from the injury for some time, but ATP Tour rules did not allow him to withdraw.
He lost 6-3, 6-4 to Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas.
Davydenko said he may also face a first-round defeat at the China Open in Beijing next week.
“I’m not feeling good. I have a wrist injury. It will take six, seven or nine weeks to heal. I’m not sure when it will be better,” he said. “I will withdraw from the doubles here. Because of the ATP rules, I couldn’t pull out. I will take a rest and see how it goes. I will probably go to Beijing and maybe lose in the first round there as well.”
World No. 457 Cuevas, who has hardly played in the last two years due to a knee injury, claimed only his second ATP Tour victory of the year in his fifth tournament.