Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ivan Ljubicic Battles Through in Poertschach

Ivan Ljubicic
Ivan Ljubicic Battles Through in Poertschach

No. 3 seed Ivan Ljubicic (pictured) battled into the second round of the Hypo Group Tennis International, recovering from a set down to defeat Czech qualifier Jan Hajek 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 after a rain delayed start in Pörtschach on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old Croatian fired 12 aces and converted all four break point opportunities he had in sealing his third victory on clay (3-3) this season in 1hr., 37min.

World No. 29 Ljubicic now improves to 11-9 for the season. He was a finalist in Zagreb (l. to Stakhovsky), and also reached the semifinals in Doha (l. to Wawrinka). He is making his fourth appearance at this event and reached the quarterfinals in 2001 when it was held in St. Poelten.

John Isner also advanced on Tuesday, firing 11 aces as he defeated Italian qualifier Simone Vagnozzi 6-3, 6-2. It was the World No. 85’s first ATP victory on clay this season. The American, who was a San Jose quarterfinalist (l. to Garcia-Lopez) earlier in the year, next will face top seed Nikolay Davydenko.

Isner’s compatriot Sam Querrey completed his rain-interrupted match from Tuesday against Austrian Oliver Marach. Play resumed with Querrey trailing 3-6, 5-3, but the 20-year-old was able to fight back, firing 11 aces in total to claim the 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

It is World No. 41 Querrey’s first victory in Pörtschach, having lost first round to Gael Monfils on his debut last year. Standing at 18-10 for the season, Querrey has enjoyed success in the first part of the year, highlighted by capturing his first ATP title in Las Vegas (d. Anderson), reaching the semifinals in Delray Beach (l. to Nishikori) and finishing as a quarterfinalist at Masters Series Monte-Carlo (l. to Djokovic).

With the start of play having been so delayed by rain, the remaining matches could not be played due to darkness.

Article from http://www.atptennis.com/

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)