Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sacramento finalists lose early in Vienna

   It was a bad day for the finalists of the recent $100,000 Sacramento Challenger.
   Champion Ivo Karlovic and runner-up James Blake lost Tuesday in the first round of the $905,000 Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
   The 6-foot-10 Karlovic, 32, retired with a back injury after losing the first set 7-6 (4) to qualifier Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia. Karlovic was playing in his first tournament since winning Sacramento and the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger back to back.
   Blake, 31, fell to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in their first meeting in six years.
   Tursunov advances -- Eighth-seeded Dmitry Tursunov, a Moscow native living in Folsom, improved to 4-0 against qualifier Teymuraz Gabashvili, a Georgia native who plays for Russia, with a 7-5, 6-3 victory in the first round of the $663,750 St. Petersburg (Russia) Open.
   Tursunov, a semifinalist in St. Petersburg last year, will face Potito Starace of Italy for the first time in five years in the second round. Starace, 30, is 2-0 against Tursunov, but both matches were on clay.
   King, Shvedova blog -- Vania King of the Sacramento Capitals and Yaroslava Shvedova are blogging daily from Istanbul, where they'll compete in doubles this week in the WTA Championships. Here's the link to their latest post:
   Ilyushin triumphs -- Artem Ilyushin, a senior at Mississippi State from Granite Bay, upset his doubles partner, seventh-seeded Gilad Ben Zvi of Israel, 7-5, 7-5 in the first round of the $10,000 Player's Choice Open in Birmingham, Ala.
   Ben Zvi and Ilyushin, meanwhile, knocked off second-seeded Haydn Lewis of Barbados and Marvin Rolle of the Bahamas 6-4, 3-6, 10-3 tiebreak in the first round of doubles.

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