Open account with a hard-fought victory over Roger-Tecau in round one
Sydney: Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi recorded their first win after re-joining forces as they overcame a spirited challenge from Jean-Julien Roger and Horia Tecau in the first round of the ATP Apia International on Tuesday.
The third seeded Indo-Pak pair recorded a hard-fought 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 10-3 win over the unseeded Dutch-Romanian team in one hour and 41 minutes.
They next face Treat Huey from Philippines and Briton Dominic Inglot, who ousted Spaniards Pablo Andujar and David Marrero 6-4, 6-3 in their opening round of the USD 511,825 hard court event. Bopanna and Qureshi had suffered a first round exit at last week’s Chennai Open in their first match of the season.
Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek, seeded second, open their campaign against French pair of Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who ended singles runner-up at the Chennai Open. India’s Somdev Devvarman had failed to qualify for the singles main draw after losing in the second round of the qualifiers.
Meanwhile, American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands dumped top seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska out of the Sydney International on Tuesday.Mattek-Sands, ranked 48, upset the world number five 7-5, 6-2 in just over 90 minutes to disrupt Radwanska’s lead-up to next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne.
Radwanska’s defeat was the first time since 1998 that the women’s titleholder has lost her opening match in Sydney. “She was really playing aggressive today. It didn’t matter if it was my first serve, second serve, or anything, she was really going 100 percent for every ball,” Radwanska said.
Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is the highest seed left in the draw after ousting American Christina McHale for the loss of just one game.Kvitova will next play Czech Lucie Safarova, who eliminated Danish sixth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-6 (9/7).
Radwanska, who will now head to Melbourne ahead of the Open, said she did not think the early loss would upset her preparations.”I had a lot of good matches last week (in the Hopman Cup),” she said. “It’s not like I’m playing bad. I’m not worried about that. I just think it’s not my day.”
The former Wimbledon runner-up has not won a match or even a set since last October, after losing all three of her round-robin encounters at the season-ending WTA championships in straight sets.Radwanska’s losing run is a stark contrast to last year, when she went into the Australian Open on a nine-match winning streak after picking up back-to-back titles in Auckland and Sydney.