December 10, 2013
TennisTuesday, October 1, 2013
Mónaco eliminated in first round
Del Potro returns to circuit in Tokyo
Juan Mónaco was eliminated from the Japan Open after losing to Jarkko Nieminen in his first-round match. Juan Martín del Potro, Horacio Zeballos and Carlos Berlocq will play today.
TOKYO — In the final match of the day, under floodlights, Jarkko Nieminen of Finland broke a two-match losing streak against Juan Mónaco with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 win yesterday at the Japan Open.
World number 36 Mónaco had won their Power Horse Cup final meeting in May.
Top-seeded Juan Martín del Potro was scheduled to play Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in a first-round match today, when defending champion Kei Nishikori was due to meet Jürgen Melzer of Austria.
The other Argentines of the tournament — Horacio Zeballos and Carlos Berlocq — will also play today. Zeballos will face Ryan Harrison of the US while Berlocq will meet Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas.
Also yesterday, second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed four match points to beat Gael Monfils 6-3 7-6 (10-8) to advance to the second round.
Tsonga began the year strongly, reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and the semifinals at the French Open. After finishing runnerup to Andy Murray at Queen’s, however, Tsonga was forced to retire with a knee injury in the second round at Wimbledon and did not enter the US Open as a result.
In other first-round action, sixth-seeded Nicolás Almagro of Spain beat German qualifier Benjamin Becker 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) and Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine defeated Daniel Brands of Germany 6-3 6-1.
Meanwhile, in Beijing, defending champion Victoria Azarenka was knocked out in the first round of the China Open, losing 6-4 2-6 6-4 to Andrea Petkovic of Germany.
Also yesterday, eighth-seeded Jelena Jankovic rallied for a 1-6 6-4 6-0 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.
Former No. 1-ranked Jankovic had lost three of her four previous matches against Pavlyuchenkova and didn’t start well in Beijing, but recovered to break her opponent three times in each of the second and third sets.
The 28-year-old Jankovic, who won the title here in 2008, took control of the match as her opponent struggled with her first serves and double-faulted nine times.
Jankovic’s compatriots Ana Ivanovic and Bojana Jovanovski joined her in the second round with easier straight-set victories. Ivanovic defeated Flavia Pennetta of Italy 7-6 (11-9) 6-1 while Jovanovski took just 77 minutes to dispose of Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-3 6-2.
Australia’s Bernard Tomic, Fabio Fognini of Italy and Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany also advanced.