Tools: Save | Print | " target="_blank" class="style1">E-mail | Most Read
Tennis: Croatians Cruise into 2nd Round at China Open
Adjust font size:

Beijing Tennis Centre went Croatian crazy yesterday, as Ivan Ljubicic, Mario Ancic and Ivo Karlovic all strode into the second round of the China Open.

The event's top seed Ljubicic thrashed unknown Go Soeda of Japan 6-4, 6-2 in his first match in China, and fellow countryman Karlovic ousted Australian Jordan Kerr 6-2, 7-6 (7/2).

Fourth seed Ancic was the only one of the three who met a challenge, as he scraped through with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

Third seed Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus also had to fight hard and came from behind to beat Denis Germelmayr of Germany 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/5).

Ljubicic, who was shocked in the first round of US Open by Lopez, played solidly right from the start.

"I felt very powerful today," he said. "I played the tennis that I wanted to play. I had some second serves that were as fast as the first at the end of the match, that's a sign that I really feel good."

Ljubicic became top seed at the tournament after Spanish sensation and world No 2 Rafael Nadal withdrew with a left knee injury. The Croatian said he could handle the pressure.

"Of course you have to take some pressure from fans and especially other players, but that's the pressure I like," he said.

"As world No 3, you are expected to have such pressure and it gives me great confidence to have a good showing at the tournament."

However, world No 190 Soeda shrugged off the rankings disparity as he exchanged breaks, his pinpoint ground-strokes causing trouble. But Ljubicic broke serve in the deciding ninth game to wrap up the set in 33 minutes.

The Croat found his game in the second, his accurate ground strokes forcing the Japanese player off balance and into mistakes.

Ljubicic broke serves twice in the sixth and eighth games to close out the game in one hour and 10 minutes contest.

Ancic, returning to the ATP circuit for the first time since Wimbledon, also continued his push for a place at the Masters in Shanghai.

He survived a strong second set comeback from Lopez, who reached the quarter-finals in Wimbledon and is now at No 84.

"I'm happy to win the game, it's not easy to come back after such a long time out," Ancic said. "It took me great efforts mentally and physically to go back on court. I hope I can play as many games as possible, so that my condition can improve quicker."

The 22-year-old world No 10 has improved his season match record to 41-13. which includes one ATP title in Hertogenbosch from three finals (Auckland, Marseille).

Elsewhere, qualifier Luka Gregorc of Slovenia beat home player Wang Yu 7-6(7/3), 6-3.

Today sees the second seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, who took part in as many as 32 tournaments this year, subdued 33-year-old Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark 6-3, 6-4 in the last first round match on Wednesday. Coming up next for Davydenlo will be Slovenia's Luka Gregorc.

(China Daily September 13, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | " target="_blank" class="style1">E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Big Victory at Volkswagen Open Singapore
Federer Wins Third US Open in a Row
Tennis: Ace Players Gather for China Open
Tennis: Ace Players Gather for China Open
Tennis: All Seeds Through to 2nd Round at China Open
Tennis: Hrbaty vs Rik De Voest 6-1, 6-0 (Sep11)
Tennis: Srichaphan vs Schuettler 6-3, 6-3 (Sep11)
Tennis: Lee Hyund-Tail vs Igor Kunitsyn 6-3, 6-4 (Sep11)
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback

Copyright © All Rights Reserved E-mail: Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号