Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tursunov avoids Nadal match with loss

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will meet fellow Spaniard
Marcel Granollers in the second round of the BNP
Paribas Masters in Paris. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Well, there's always the bright side for Dmitry Tursunov.
   The 30-year-old Russian, who trains in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, won't have to worry about playing Rafael Nadal.
   Plus, Tursunov can start the offseason. That lasts, what, 36 hours before he has to start training for next year?
   Marcel Granollers beat Tursunov 6-4, 6-4 today in the first round of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris to earn a matchup against his top-ranked fellow Spaniard.
   Nadal received a first-round bye. He is 3-0 against Tursunov and 2-0 against Granollers, winning all 10 sets.
   Tursunov colorfully described Nadal five years ago in an interview with The Sacramento Bee.
   "Nadal is by far the fittest player (in men's tennis)," Tursunov said. "He can run fast, and he's incredibly persistent. He will chase down every ball. He's essentially a pit bull. Once he gets a grip on you, it's difficult to shake him off."
   Tursunov, who has soared from No. 125 in the world at the end of 2012 to No. 30, is one of four nominees for Comeback Player of the Year on the ATP World Tour. Nadal is the heavy favorite, although  he's a virtual lock for Player of the Year. The winner will be announced during next week's ATP World Tour Finals in London.
   Nadal, 27, regained the No. 1 ranking this month after ending last year at No. 4. He suffered a left knee injury in 2012 and missed seven months. After returning in February, he reached nine straight finals, winning seven. In the last tournament of the streak, he won his eighth French Open title.
   Nadal later went on a 26-match hardcourt winning streak over the summer, claiming his second U.S. Open title.

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