Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 30th 2014 Contents A71
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
BEIJING---Serena Williams narrowly avoided a
bagel against Spanish qualifier Silvia Soler-
Espinosa, then won 13 of the next 15 games to pull
out a 7-5, 6-2 victory yesterday in the first round
of the China Open.
Williams looked lethargic and flat-footed at the
start, pushing the ball back without much pace or
direction and occasionally shanking groundstrokes
several feet out. After only 15 minutes, she had
already dropped serve three times and fallen behind
TOKYO---Marcel Granollers of Spain rallied from
a set down to beat second-seeded David Ferrer 4-
6, 6-4, 6-4 yesterday and advance to the second
round of the Japan Open.
Granollers converted four of nine break points at
Ariake Coliseum and will next face Steve Johnson of
the United States. Johnson lost only seven of his first
service points and hit 12 aces to beat Japanese qualifier
Hiroki Moriya 7-6 (4), 6-2.
The early loss could dent Ferrer s hopes of qualifying
for the ATP finals in London in November. The top
eight players qualify and Ferrer is currently ranked
"I lost my focus in the second set," said Ferrer,
who recently split with coach Jose Francisco Altur.
"I have not been playing well recently and have got
on a bad run of results."
Also, seventh-seeded Kevin Anderson of South
Africa defeated Dominic Thiem of Austria 7-6 (5),
6-4, and Gilles Muller of Luxembourg beat Federico
Delbonis of Argentina 6-3, 6-4. (AP)
Ferrer at Japan Open
Just as quickly as she gave up such a big lead,
however, Williams turned it around. In the next
game, the 18-time major winner saved a set point
and broke Soler-Espinosa to finally get on the board.
"I didn t want to lose six-love," Williams said. "I
just started fighting. I was like, just let me at least
try to break here."
Soler-Espinosa had another set point on Williams
serve in the following game, but the American saved
it with a cross-court backhand winner at the net
and cruised the rest of the way.
Williams routinely doles out the bagels in matches,
but she s rarely on the receiving end of one. The
last player to win a 6-0 set against her was another
Spaniard, Anabel Medina Garrigues, in Madrid last
year. Williams came back to win that match, too,
6-3, 0-6, 7-5.
After the match, Williams said she hadn t been
sure she d be healthy enough to play in Beijing after
pulling out of a match against Alize Cornet with
dizziness and nausea last week at the Wuhan Open.
It was the latest health issue to sidetrack Williams
She also pulled out of a Wimbledon doubles
match after looking completely out of sorts in her
warm-up and hitting four straight double-faults in
the match. She later blamed a viral illness.
On the men s side, US Open champion Marin
Cilic struggled with his consistency against Chinese
wild-card entry Bai Yan, ranked 462nd in the world,
but held on to win 6-3, 6-4.
Cilic said he s still getting used to the feeling of
being a Grand Slam champion and dealing with all
the pressure and attention that brings.
Fifth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria also
advanced with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Fernando
Verdasco of Spain.
Other women s winners included ninth-seeded
Ana Ivanovic, who took advantage of eight double-
faults by Belinda Bencic to beat the Swiss teenager
6-2, 6-1, and US Open semifinalist Peng Shuai of
China, who defeated Zhang Kailin 6-4, 6-1.
In the only upset of the day, tenth-seeded Jelena
Jankovic lost to Cornet 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.
Fourteen-time major winner Rafael Nadal also
returned to the court for the first time since injuring
his wrist in July to play a doubles match. He and
partner Pablo Andujar lost to Tomas Berdych and
John Isner 7-5, 4-6, 10-4.
Nadal will play his opening singles match today
against Richard Gasquet, while top-seeded Novak
Djokovic, who has a 19-0 record in Beijing, faces
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain. (AP)
Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot to Silvia Soler-Espinosa of
Spain during their first round of China Open tennis tournament at the National
Tennis Stadium in Beijing, China, yesterday. Williams won 7-5, 6-2. AP PHOTO
Serena avoids bagel, then
cruises in China Open
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