Second seed Bernard Tomic shocked by Rajeev Ram, Top seed Kevin Anderson retires in Delray Beach - UBITENNIS
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Second seed Bernard Tomic shocked by Rajeev Ram, Top seed Kevin Anderson retires in Delray Beach

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Kevin Anderson’s injury-ridden start to the year continued with a retirement loss to Austin Krajicek (Image via Zimbio.com)

It was a good day for Americans in Delray Beach, as two of the home contingent accounted for the top two seeds. Austin Krajicek won when Kevin Anderson retired after the top seed had lost the first set on a tie-break, and second seed Bernard Tomic was beaten by Rajeev Ram 7-6, 6-1. 

When the draw was announced, Austin Krajicek was likely cursing his luck that he had been placed in the same bracket as Kevin Anderson. Yet Krajicek, who fell out of the Top 100 this week, earned his luck, winning a place in the second round when Anderson retired 6-7 down. It marks a bad start to the year for South African, after he had enjoyed the best year of his career in 2015. He was forced to retire from the Australian Open with a knee injury, but it was a shoulder injury that curtailed his chances at this event. Anderson had led 3-0 before Krajicek levelled with Anderson’ service notably struggling, and the top seed decided enough was enough after losing the tie-break.

Bernard Tomic had no such excuses against Rajeev Ram however, as the American scored a huge shock over the Australian second seed. Ram is best known for his exploits on grass, having won the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport twice. A number of his points responsible for his Top 100 ranking are as a result of having won the second of his two titles in 2015. Yet he proved his worth on the hard-courts as he edged a tie-break. Tomic then lost his composure, as Ram raced away with the second set, breaking twice and losing just two points on serve. Tomic’s season is off to a slow start. After a reasonable run at the Australian Open, Tomic lost early on the South American clay, before heading north for this event.

Steve Johnson was another home winner, as the sixth seed put his defeat to Taylor Fritz swiftly behind him. Johnson banished the ghosts of that two tie-break loss, edging a thrilling decider ten-eight after he and John Millman had split the opening two sets. The final score was 6-3, 5-7, 7-6.

Dennis Novikov ensured that the Americans did not remain perfect in the daytime matches however, as he lost 6-2, 6-2 to fellow qualifier Tatsuma Ito. Finally Damir Dzumhur gained revenge for his defeat in Memphis last week, as he beat Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-2.

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Injured Bianca Andreescu retires From Semi-Final match In Hua Hin

The Canadian was looking to book a spot in her first WTA final of the year but was forced to retire after injuring her right shoulder.

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BIANCA ANDREESCU OF CANADA - PHOTO: ALBERTO NEVADO / MMO

Lesia Tsurenko booked her spot in the final of the Thailand Open in Hua Hin after Bianca Andreescu was forced to retire whilst down 7-6, 4-0.

 

The first set was extremely tight with the first four games being breaks of serve. Andreescu got the crucial break to lead 5-3 and served for the first set but the Ukrainian fought back to level the set at 5-5. Then Tsurenko was the one to break serve but she was able to close out the first set.

After the opener, the semi-final clash went completely one-sided with Tsurenko taking over by winning four games off the trot before Andreescu decided to call it quits. The Canadian had a medical timeout during a second set changeover.

Tsurenko gave full credit to her opponent and despite the retirement says it was a very difficult match.

“Bianca is such an amazing player she said. She is capable of hitting all kinds of shots and gave so much trouble today”. She said.

Tsurenko is looking to win her fifth WTA title and will be playing in her first final since 2019 in Hua Hin. She faces the China’s Lin Zhu who earlier in the day beat the number seven seed Xinyu Wang 6-2, 6-4, in one hour and 38 minutes to book her spot in the final.

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The US team secure their spot in the Davis Cup Group Stage with a 4-0 win over Uzbekistan

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Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek beat Uzbekistan’s Sayniar Fayziev and Sergey Fomin 6-2 6-4 after just 52 minutes in the doubles match of the best-of five qualifier to secure the US team a spot in the 2023 Davis Cup Group Stage. 

 

Ram and Krajicek broke twice in the third and seventh games to win the first set 6-2. The US team earned an immediate break in the first game and held their service games to win the second set 6-4. Ram praised the Uzbek team after the match. 

“Rankings-wise the Uzbek opponents are the underdogs. They are not the favourites in this match, but even in the singles they tried their best and they really fought until the end and that’s a pretty good quality to have. It helps you win matches you are not supposed to win”, said Ram. 

Denis Kudla beat Amir Milushev 6-4 6-4 to complete the 4-0 sweep.

The US team did not drop a set in four matches this weekend. 

The previous day Davis Cup rookie Mackenzie McDonald secured the first point for the US team with a 6-4 6-1 win over Fomin before Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul came back from 0-4 down in the second set to beat Khumoyun Sultanov 6-1 7-6 (8-6).

“I was excited to see Raj and Austin play today.They have practiced well all week. They had five great days of preparation and as anticipated they came out really sharp and got the early break in the first set. After that it was like two freight trains, there was no stopping them”, said US team captain David Nainkin.

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Cameron Norrie draws Great Britain level to 1-1 against Colombia

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Colombia and Great Britain have drawn level to 1-1 after the first two singles matches on the opening day of the Davis Cup Qualifier at altitude on clay in Bogotà. 

 

Colombia’s Nicholas Mejia clinched the first top 100 win of his career with a 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory against Daniel Evans after 2 hours and 31 minutes. 

Mejia fended off three break points in the first game of the third set. The 22-year-old Colombian player was not able to convert on two break points as Evans held serve in a marathon game to level to 4-4. 

Mejia sealed the win over Evans with his third break in the final game thanks to a backhand passing shot.

“The key to victory ? The attitude, the dedication, not getting nervous more than necessary. I have also learned a lot from previous defeats. I wanted to go out and win. I was not going to give them anything. I am very happy for the point that I was able to give to Colombia. There is a long way to go to think about victory”, said Mejia in the post-match interview. 

Cameron Norrie overcame Nicolas Barrientos 6-2 7-5 in the second singles rubber to level the tie at 1-1. 

Norrie earned an early break at the start of the first set. The British player closed out the first set 6-2 with a double break in the seventh game. 

Norrie started the second set with an immediate break in the first game. Barrientos broke straight back with his first break of the match in the second game to draw level to 1-1. The Colombian player earned five break points on return at 1-2, but Norrie held serve at deuce in a hard-fought fourth game. 

Barrientos earned another break point at 2-3, but Norrie saved it to hold serve. Norrie earned the crucial break in the 11th game to close out the second set 7-5 after a missed volley from Barrientos. 

“Especially given that we are the away team, they have got a huge advantage with us coming here on clay, at altitude, with the fans out there. That’s why we love it and that’s why we are out here playing. I really enjoyed the match today and I can improve on a lot of things going into tomorrow. I was able to put enough balls in the court to get over the line”, said Norrie. 

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