Holder Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina came from behind to defeat Lu Yen-hsun 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round of the Legg Mason Classic on Tuesday.
※It was a difficult match, my first match of the hardcourt season,§ Del Potro, the tournament＊s second seed behind Andy Roddick, told reporters. ※It took some time to find my rhythm.§
In a match that started late Tuesday night and ended well past midnight, del Potro lost the opening set after dropping his serve at 3-3.
Taiwan＊s 62nd-ranked Lu broke in the seventh game of the first set and held through to take the set, but surrendered a break in the penultimate game of the second set and another to open the third.
World No. 6 Del Potro broke again for a 5-2 lead and held again to reach a third-round match against Australia＊s Lleyton Hewitt or Israel＊s Dudi Sela.
※Lu is a good player and he played a good first set,§ Del Potro said. ※I was able to turn it around in the second set and take control in the third. I＊m glad to be through to the third round.§
Sixth seed Marin Cilic of Croatia fell to qualifier Somdev Devvarman of India 7-5, 6-4 in what the 24-year-old called the biggest win of his career.
※At this point, I＊m just happy I got through,§ Devvarman, who won back-to-back US collegiate singles titles at the University of Virginia, told reporters after his fourth victory in four days. ※I＊m going to use my day off well.§
Eighth seed Tomas Berdych and 10th seed Tommy Haas, a Wimbledon semi-finalist, both advanced.
Czech Berdych defeated Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-2, 7-6 and German Haas eased past Frank Dancevic of Canada 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Germany＊s Benjamin Becker took the long route to victory, clubbing 27 aces to close out American Robby Ginepri 7-6 6-7 7-6 in the first round. The win set up a second round meeting with Roddick yesterday.
REUTERS, LOS ANGELES
Former title winner Ana Ivanovic overcame a mid-match slump before advancing to the third round of the LA Championships with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 victory against US wildcard Vania King on Tuesday.
The sixth-seeded Serb was joined in the last 16 by second-ranked Vera Zvonareva, who was pushed all the way in the night match before edging out China＊s Shuai Peng 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 in two hours, 19 minutes.
Seeking her first title since October last year, Ivanovic struggled with King＊s relentless counterpunching in the first two sets, but in the final set, last year＊s French Open champion was able to overpower her plucky opponent.
※I felt happy with the way I was moving and playing,§ said Ivanovic, on court for the first time since a thigh injury forced her to retire from a Wimbledon fourth round match against Venus Williams in late June.
※It＊s just the first match and I have the ability to improve. I had an opportunity a few times to put the ball away but had a little doubt in my mind as to which shot to take,§ Ivanovic said.
King, who grew up in nearby Long Beach, was frustrated with her inability to trust her shots in the latter stages of her tussle with the 2007 champion.
※I was nervous,§ King said. ※It＊s something I＊ve struggled with, 〝getting a mental block because they＊re in the top 10, but I think I＊m doing a much better job of staying mentally tough.§
There were no upsets in the day＊s first round matches, as 12th seed Li Na of China advanced when Japan＊s Ayumi Morita retired while trailing 6-0, 2-0 and 13th seed Samantha Stosur of Australia eased past Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-1 6-2.
Chinese 14th seed Zheng Jie defeated Olga Savchuk of the Ukraine 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 and 17th seed Sabine Lisicki of Germany battled past Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm 7-6, 2-6, 7-5.
World No. 1 Dinara Safina will kick off her title defense against Slovakia＊s Daniela Hantuchova in the second round yesterday, while three-times grand slam champion Maria Sharapova will play third seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017