Un­seeded Suwei and v eteran Ver­dasco cause up­sets in P aris

The Witness - - SPORT -

PARIS — Span­ish vet­eran Fer­nando Ver­dasco caused a ma­jor up­set at the French Open y es­ter­day, elim­i­nat­ing in­form Ale xan­der Z verev (20 ) of Ger­many 64, 36, 64, 62 in the first round af­ter their game had been in­ter­rupted at one­set all on Mon­day.

The 33yearold clay court spe­cial­ist out­mus­cled the y oung Ger­man when play re­sumed yes­ter­day, with Zverev ha ving los t his mo­men­tum from a day ear­lier when he had grabbed the sec ond set and look ed in com­plete con­trol.

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson de­feated Tu­nisian player Malek Jaziri 76, 6 3, 76.

Anderson ne xt f aces A us­tralian Nick Kyr­gios, who shrugged off in­jury con­cerns and k ept his emo­tions in check to out­class Ger­many’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 63 76 63.

The 18th seed, not ori­ous for his on­court tantrums, showed no signs of be­ing ham­pered by the hip in­jury that forced him out of the Rome tour­na­ment ear­lier this month.

Kyr­gios has also been r eceiv­ing treat­ment for a shoul­der in­jury .

But the 22y earold, c on­sid­ered among the most gifted play­ers of his gen­er­a­tion, fired a to­tal of 20 ac es, in­clud­ing six in the fir st set, w hich he claimed in 30 minut es.

“There w ere a lot of que stions about how I would per­form to­day,” Kyr­gios told re­porters. “I did not play many matches on clay and was not feel­ing that c on­fi­dent.

“I thought it would be tough. But I serv ed r eally w ell at im­port ant times of the mat ch.”

A mini­break in the tie break was enough to hand him the sec­ond set as Kohlschreiber strug­gled with the Aus­tralian’s whipped ground­strokes and re­peated au­da­cious dr op­shots.

Kyr­gios, who sealed his vic­tory on his first match point, re­cently teamed up with former French pro Sebastien Gros­jean af­ter years with­out a coach.

“To get to the top five and com­pete in the Slams I need t o ha ve some­one in my cor­ner. It’s time now to knuckle down,” he said. K yr­gios’ quick and pow­er­ful game is more fit­ted to hard or grass courts than the French clay.

Third­seeded St an W awrinka launched his bid for a sec­ond French Open ti­tle with a slo w start, toil­ing to find his rhythm be­fore ul­ti­mately beat­ing Slo­vak qual­i­fier Jozef Ko­va­lik 62, 76 ( 6), 63.

The 2015 cham­pion s trug­gled to time the b all on an o ver­cast Court Suzanne Len­glen, fr equently spray­ing his tr ade­mark b ack­hand dri ve long or into the net as he looked to keep the points short against 152ndranked Ko­va­lik, who was mak­ing his Roland Gar­ros de­but.

But the Swiss did enough to win the rallies that mat tered.

The Swiss will play Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolg opolov in the sec ond round. M ean­while, w orld num­ber one Andy Murray played it straight by the French Open form book with a mostly reg­u­la­tion 64, 46, 62, 60 firstround win over Rus­sia’s An­drey Kuznetsov.

Murray, w ho has had an un­der­whelm­ing year so far and was struck down by ill­ness last week, hit 29 win­ners dur­ing the mat ch and w as helped out by Kuznetsov mak­ing 45 un­forced er­rors.

The Bri­ton will face Martin Kl­izan of Slo­vakia in the ne xt round.

Amer­i­can M adi­son K eys, the women’s num­ber 12 seed, beat Aus­tralia’s Ash­leigh Barty 63 62 for her first win on cla y this sea­son.

Keys will f ace P etra M ar­tic in round t wo aft er the C roat beat Ukrainian Kateryna Bon­darenko 62 75 ear lier yes­ter­day.

France’s Al­ize Cor­net beat Hun­gary’s Timea Ba­bos 62 67 (5) 62 in an evenly con­tested firstround en­counter.

Un­seeded Hsieh Suwei of Tai­wan beat women’s sev­enth seed Jo­hanna Konta of Bri­tain 16, 76 (2), 64 in the first round. The de­feat marked Konta’s thir d c on­sec­u­tive fir stround exit from the F rench Open.

Hsieh will next play Amer­i­can Tay­lor T ownsend, w ho beat J apanese qual­i­fier Miyu Kato 64, 60.

— Reuters.

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