SA’s big hope Anderson knocked out in first round of SA Open

2009-02-03 00:00

ON a rain-interrupted day two of the $500 000 SA Tennis Open at Montecasino in Johannesburg yesterday, there was no stopping the Czech Republic’s Ivo Minar as he put a damper on local hopes with a 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 victory over South Africa number one Kevin Anderson.

Next up, the unseeded Dudi Sela met David Ferrer of Spain in their second career encounter after the Israeli had won first time out in Beijing last year, but this time around it was not to be.

The second seed was all over Sela to win 6-2 6-0, while in his first-round match of this ATP 250 event, top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France slammed 11 aces past Brazil’s Thiago Alves to triumph 6-4 6-1 in an entertaining 56 minutes.

Earlier, Minar prospered on Anderson’s mistakes.

“It was extremely disappointing, I lost focus and couldn’t translate what I was doing so well on the practice court,” Anderson said. “In too many matches I am making it easy to be broken. It’s nothing drastic, but I can improve both physically and mentally … little things that will take time to get right.

“In tiebreaks each point is so pivotal, but I was my own worst enemy today and at this level that just cannot happen.”

Anderson broke Minar’s serve in the third game and looked in supreme form. But unforced errors began to emerge and Minar clawed back to 3-3 in the sixth before going 4-3 up on serve to force the South African to play catch-up.

The first set went into the tiebreak and Minar, ranked 93rd in the world to Anderson’s 106, earned two mini-breaks for 7/4 to establish a winning platform.

Anderson’s miscues were mounting and Minar, who was world number 64 last May, broke immediately in the second set to eventually serve out for a 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 victory, dashing Anderson’s — and South Africa’s — hopes.

Four doubles matches were removed from the order of play so the scheduled singles first-round clashes could take place. These ties will be shifted into new timeslots.

SA’s day one singles hero Rik de Voest will meet unseeded Portuguese Frederico Gil in the second round today.

In another match sure to draw local support, SA’s Raven Klaasen meets Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.

RESULTS:

Singles: Frederico Gill (Por) bt Daniel Koellerer (Aut) 6-4 6-0; Ivo Minar (Cze) bt Kevin Anderson (Rsa) 7-6 (7/4) 6-4; Marco Chiudinelli (Sui) bt Flavio Cippola (Ita) 7-5 1-6 6-4; 2-David Ferrer (Esp) bt Dudi Sela (Isr) 6-2 6-0; 7-Kristof Vliegen (Bel) bt Ross Hutchins (Gbr) 7-6 (7/3) 6-4; 5-Jeremy Chardy (Fra) bt Jiri Vanek (Cze) 6-0 6-4; 1-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) bt Thiago Alves (Bra) 6-4 6-1; Denis Istomin (Uzb) bt Santiago Ventura (Esp) 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7/3)

Doubles: 4-Rik de Voest (Rsa)/Ashley Fisher (Aus) bt Yves Allegro (Sui)/Horia Tecau (Rom) 6-2 6-2.

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