Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 8th 2013 Contents A59
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
pion Roger Federer looked
comfortable on clay in his first
match in two months yester-
day, easing past Radek
Stepanek of the Czech Republic
6--3, 6--3 to reach the third
round of the Madrid Open.
In the women s event,
defending champion Serena
Williams moved her title defence
into the third round after beating
Lourdes Dominguez Lino of
Spain 6--2, 7--5.
The second-ranked Federer
took a break after losing in the
Indian Wells quarterfinals on
hardcourt to Rafael Nadal, but
instantly took to the slower red
surface and broke early to take
control of the first set. He then
broke Stepanek three times in
the second, losing his own serve
once, to finish the win in one
hour, 21 minutes.
"I m very happy, because he
has caused me difficulties in the
past," Federer said about the 34-
year-old Stepanek---who these
days is one of the few players
on tour older than the Swiss
"If I would be the only guy
over 30, it would feel a bit awk-
ward, to be honest," the 31-year-
old Federer said.
Federer can equal John McEn-
roe s career tally of 77 titles if
he defends the Madrid trophy,
having won last year on the
heavily criticised blue clay that
organisers decided to get rid of
for this tournament.
Like many of his fellow play-
ers, Federer said the traditional
red surface was better.
"They (organisers) spoke to
more experts from the French
Open and Monaco, and you can
tell it s a proper clay court now,"
Federer said, adding that Madrid
had issues with its courts even
before switching to a blue sur-
face. "I know that added to the
whole controversy, the colour,
because of tradition and so forth.
It was extremely slippery and
the court wasn t taking the water
Third-seeded Andy Murray
had a tougher time against Flo-
rian Mayer before outlasting the
German 7--6 (11), 7--6 (3).
Murray said he struggled with
the altitude and found it hard
to breathe at the end of the first
set where "there were so many
Madrid is 660 metres (2,180
feet) above sea level. The Scots-
man said Mayer s array of shots
also made it difficult by varying
the pace constantly.
"It s hard to explain, but if
you re playing someone that
plays with a nice rhythm it s a
lot easier to breathe during the
points," Murray said.
No 13 Tommy Haas of Ger-
many and No 15 Stanislas
Wawrinka of Switzerland were
among other seeded players to
advance, while No 8 Richard
Gasquet of France lost 7--5, 3--6,
6--4 to Daniel Gimeno-Traver
The top-ranked Williams
struggled a bit to counter her
opponent s drop-shots and lobs
but stayed on course for a fourth
title of the year and the 50th of
"It was a really good clay-
court tennis match for me,"
Williams said. "I know if I face
another opponent like that I ll
have that experience and I ll
know how to play."
Also, Marion Bartoli of France
overcame a fall to beat qualifier
Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor of
Spain 6--4, 2--6, 6--4.
"My ankle was hurting me at
the beginning of third set, but
I was really able to focus and
went throughout pain," Bartoli
Federer, Williams advance
to Madrid 3rd round
The father of Australian tennis player
Bernard Tomic has been barred from
being accredited to upcoming ATP
events pending an investigation into
allegations that he assaulted his son s
training partner ahead of this week s
John Tomic was charged with assault
after allegedly head-butting the hitting
partner, Thomas Drouet, on Saturday
outside the player hotel in Madrid.
The ATP said in a statement yesterday
that "Mr Tomic s credential privileges
have been suspended at all ATP tourna-
ments until further notice. The ATP s
investigation into this incident remains
Drouet stated yesterday that he wanted
John Tomic banned from all tour events
because "he is a dangerous person, who
has nothing to do in this sport of gen-
Tomic's father barred from all ATP events
SERRA SAN BRUNO---Enrico Battaglin of Italy
sprinted to victory on the fourth stage of the Giro
d Italia yesterday, while compatriot Luca Paolini
retained the overall leader s pink jersey.
Battaglin beat fellow Italians Fabio Felline and Gio-
vanni Visconti in a bunch sprint on rainy, cobbled
streets to claim his first Grand Tour stage victory.
Overall favourite Bradley Wiggins provisionally lost
17 seconds after being caught behind a crash near
the finish in the slippery conditions and slipped to
sixth in the general standings, 34 seconds behind
Paolini. Main rival Vincenzo Nibali moved up to
fourth, 31 seconds off the pink jersey.
"It was so nice to go to the start wearing the pink
jersey," Paolini said. "This jersey shows that the team
was great today, too. Bit by bit, I m beginning to
think I can do something in the standings. Who
The 23-year-old Battaglin, who rides for Bardiani
Valvole-CSF Inox, won in a time of six hours, 14
minutes, 19 seconds along the hilly 246-kilometre
(153-mile) route from Policastro Bussentino to Serra
"I was good today, even if the rain at the end
affected me a bit," Battaglin said. "I managed to take
a couple of curves well, have a good finish and win.
The cobbles certainly didn t help as my bike kept
jumping, but I saw there weren t any wheels behind
me and I realised I could do it."
The Italian stayed in the main peloton throughout
the race while a number of other riders tried a series
of unsuccessful breakaways.
The first featured seven riders who built a lead of
nearly eight minutes after 55K (34 miles) but the
peleton---led by Paolini s Katusha team---gradually
reeled them in.
Several other riders tried to attack but were unsuc-
cessful, with Sylvain Georges having the best attempt
as he stormed up the final climb to Croce Ferrata.
But Danilo Di Luca chased him down with less than
10K (6 miles) to go, bringing Robinson Chalapud
Georges ran out of steam and dropped back to the
peleton while Di Luca and Chalapud stayed ten sec-
onds in front heading over the summit but were
caught with 700 metres remaining to set up the mass
sprint to the line.
Today s fifth stage is a mainly flat, 199-kilometre
(123.6-mile) leg from Cosenza to Matera. (AP)
Serena Williams from
US returns the ball to
Lourdes Dominguez Lino
from Spain during the
match at the Madrid
tournament, in Madrid,
yesterday. Williams won
6--2, 7--5. AP PHOTO
...Paolini keeps lead
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