Tennis News Wire -
Thursday Men's Tennis Summary
Singles - Quarterfinal: N Davydenko def. (1) J Isner 6-4 7-6(7-4)
John Isner's clay record is better than we frankly expected -- he came here with a 17-18 record at standard ATP events (not counting Dusseldorf). He even has one final (at Houston this year). But he has never won a title. That streak will continue. He also loses his chance to return to the Top Ten.
Singles - Quarterfinal: (2) G Simon def. (Q) T Bellucci 7-5 6-0
Finally Gilles Simon reaches the point where things start to matter. No, he doesn't earn any points for this -- but if he can make the final, that will count.
Singles - Quarterfinal: (3) N Almagro def. S Darcis 6-4 6-4
Nicolas Almagro probably qualifies as the ATP's biggest specialist in small clay events. Little surprise that he is doing well here, therefore. No points yet, though, and he needs to beat Simon -- another specialist in these sorts of events -- to get anywhere.
Singles - Quarterfinal: (Q) B Baker def. M Kukushkin 4-6 6-3 7-6(7-4)
No question but that Brian Baker is this week's big Feel Good story! Five years since he had an ATP win, and here he is in the semifinal -- after saving a match point, even. He has now increased his point total by more than 40%, and will rise from #216 to around #165.
Doubles - Quarterfinal: Hanley/Knowle def. (4) Cabal/Gonzalez 6-3 6-2
Doubles - Quarterfinal: Marach/Polasek def. (WC) Isner/Querrey 6-3 6-0
This can't have been much fun for anyone. Two teams, neither of them local, both eliminated, but they had to play anyway. Did anyone bother to watch? At least Ryan Harrison got in some more clay practice, beating Tatsuma Ito 6-2 7-6 in the dead tie of the Red Group. At least they scheduled all the matches for the same day -- and they had to play all of them, because Go Soeda beat Andy Roddick 7-5 7-6. So the doubles mattered; James Blake teamed with Harrison to beat Ito/Sato in a Match Tiebreak. The Americans end up third, the Japanese fourth.
In the other consolation tie, Croatia versus Russia, Ivan Dodig got Croatia off to a good start with a 7-6 6-4 win over Igor Kunitsyn. But that puts the tie in the hands of Lovro Zovko.
The real match in the group, in any case, was the one in the Serbia versus Germany tie. And Serbia got off to a good start, with Viktor Troicki topping Florian Mayer 7-6 6-3.
In the Red Group, what counts is the Argentines versus the Czechs, and the Czechs are up 1-0; Tomas Berdych beat Carlos Berlocq 6-1 6-7 6-3.
Bad news for the French -- Gael Monfils, who ended up hurt at Nice, is out of Roland Garros. His knee is still bad.