By Jeff Watson/ATC
Former top-15 player and local hero Robby Ginepri made a triumphant return to the ATP World Tour as he defeated Tommy Haas 6-4, 7-5 in the first round. After suffering a severe elbow injury when he avoided hitting a squirrel while mountain biking last fall,
Ginepri’s game looked to be in good shape as he hit nine aces against the German and former world No. 2. This win for Ginepri puts him into a match against the 6’4" lefty from Luxembourg Gilles Muller.
Haas is also coming back from an injury and is competing in only his fifth tournament of the year.
Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt won 89 percent of his first serve points to dismiss American qualifier Phillip Simmonds 6-4, 6-4. Hewitt was down a break early in the first set but won it back quickly and only faced one more break point the entire match.
Two seeds fell to qualifiers. Rajeev Ram took out fifth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. Marinko Matosevic toppled Igor Kunitsyn 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-5.
Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt won 89 percent of his first serve points to dismiss American qualifier, Phillip Simmonds 6-4, 6-4. Hewitt was down a break early in the first set but won it back quickly and only faced one more break point the entire match.
Hewitt now plays veteran American Rajeev Ram, who scored the biggest upset of the tournament so far with his straight-sets win over the fifth-seeded Bulgarian, Grigor Dimitrov. Ram won 91 percent of his first serves and did not face a break point to take the match 6-4, 6-4. Another upset came at the hands of qualifier Marinko Matosevic, who needed three sets to down the sixth-seeded Russian, Igor Kunitsyn. Seeded players are one-for-four so far with eighth seed Somdev Devvarman scoring the only win yesterday against Ryan Sweeting. However, the top four seeds get in action in the next two days.
The second match on Stadium Court featured young American Ryan Harrison, who defeated another qualifier, Japan’s Yuichi Sugita, 6-1, 7-6(5). Harrison converted 100 percent of his break point chances in the first set, but was zero for 11 in the second and faced a set point on his serve at 4-5. The teenager from Shreveport, Louisiana held serve, however, and played an impressive tiebreaker to take the match. He now faces the fourth-seeded Belgian, Xavier Malisse on Thursday.
Other singles action saw Frenchman Nicolas Mahut winning 7-6(5), 6-2 over the young Lithuanian, Richard Berankis, and Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei taking out German Matthias Bachinger.
Doubles action began today, as well, with Americans James Blake and John Isner taking out the No. 2 seed team of doubles specialists, Marcelo Melo and Jamie Murray. Tomorrow’s evening session will feature Blake and Isner again, but on opposite sides of the net as they battle for a spot in the quarterfinals. This will be the first meeting between the two good friends in an ATP World Tour event, and certain to make for exciting tennis action.