Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Lu beats Querrey for first win in almost three years

   Yen-Hsun Lu, 37, of Chinese Taipei recorded his first victory in almost three years today, defeating Sam Querrey, a 33-year-old San Francisco native, 6-3, 6-4 today in the first round of the Miami Open.
   Lu missed 20 months from May 2018 through January 2020 because of a right shoulder injury. Miami — a Masters 1000 tournament, the highest level besides Grand Slam — is only his fifth event since then.
   Lu has plummeted from a career-high No. 33 in 2010 to No. 1,020. He had not won a match since beating Maverick Banes of Australia in the first round of the Seoul Challenger in late April 2018.
   Lu reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2010, shocking Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 9-5 in 4 hours, 36 minutes in the fourth round. Lu also advanced to the final of the 2007 Sacramento (Calif.) Challenger, losing to Wayne Odesnik. In 2015, Odesnik was banned for 15 years for a second doping violation.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey has advanced past the third round in Miami only once in 14 appearances, reaching the fourth round in 2013. He has tumbled from a career-high No. 11 in 2018 to No. 63.
   Another San Francisco Bay Area native, qualifier Mackenzie McDonald, defeated former world No. 25 Vasek "Anything Is" Pospisil of Canada 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in a matchup of players rebounding from surgery in 2019. 
   Pospisil, who underwent back surgery in January 2019, was assessed a point penalty on set point in the first set for verbal abuse. Losing his serve after leading 40-0 apparently set him off, but there was more to it. He told chair umpire Arnaud Gabas that ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi yelled at him for 90 minutes during a players' meeting on Tuesday. Pospisil and Novak Djokovic launched the Professional Tennis Players Association last summer.
   Pospisil won the Wimbledon men's doubles title with Jack Sock in 2014, reached the singles final of the $100,000 San Francisco Challenger in 2017 and was named the ATP Comeback Player of the Year in 2020.
   McDonald, who had right hamstring surgery in June 2019, improved to 14-4 this year. He was the only American man to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open last month.
   McDonald is scheduled to face 18th-seeded John Isner, the Miami champion in 2018, for the first time on Friday. The 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) Isner, who drew a first-round bye, is one foot (30.5 centimeters) taller than McDonald.
   In the Miami women's draw, Sloane Stephens, a 28-year-old Fresno, Calif., product who won the 2018 title, topped qualifier "Atlantic" Oceane Dodin of France 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2 for her first victory this year. 
   Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion and 2018 French Open runner-up, had lost in the first round of her last four tournaments and in six of her last seven. She has plunged from a career-high No. 3 in 2018 to No. 49.

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