Gulf News

Smooth ride for Blake but Fish struggles to advance

KRAJICEK SENDS TOP SEED VAIDISOVA PACKING Houston, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina

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James Blake, at No 2 the highest seed in the draw after the injury withdrawal of Andy Roddick, cruised into the second round of the US Men’s Clay Court Championsh­ips on Tuesday.

Blake defeated Italian Davide Sanguinett­i 6-3, 6-0, while defending champion Mardy Fish, the fourth seed, had to rally in the third set to defeat Argentina’s Martin Vassallo Arguello 5-7, 6-2, 7-5

Fish dropped his serve twice to give Vassallo Arguello a 3-0 lead in the decisive set, but succeeded in winning the next three games to get back on serve. The American captured the victory with a break in the final game. Fish next faces another Argentine, Mariano Zabaleta, a 6-0, 7-6 (10/8) winner over US teenager Ryan Sweeting.

Top-seeded Roddick was due to begin his campaign on Tuesday, but decided he was still suffering from a sore hamstring.

Meanwhile, top Nicole Vaidisova seed was dumped out of the Family Circle Cup in a secondroun­d loss to Michaella Krajicek in Charleston­e, South Carolina, on Tuesday.

The tournament lost third seed Serena Williams who retired from her match with Taiwan’s Chan Yungjan with a right groin strain. Serena was trailing 5-3 in the first set when she decided she could not continue.

Her sister Venus, meanwhile, looked sharp cruising past Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-2 in a first-round match.

World No 19 Tatiana Golovin was hampered by a blister on her toe, but managed to beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-1.

 ?? Reuters ?? Michaella Krajicek of Holland serves to Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic during their second-round match in the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, on Tuesday.
Reuters Michaella Krajicek of Holland serves to Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic during their second-round match in the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, on Tuesday.

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