Just after Wimbledon, top stars usually pull themselves away from the rigors of professional tennis. Last year, Novak Djokovic scheduled his marriage in the week following his Wimbledon victory and a few days ago, he was seen sitting with spectators to watch the final at Umag’s Konzum Croatia Open. Most top players enjoy the break in July and wait for the Rogers Cup in Canada, the first major hard-court event that prepares them for the US Open. But former world no.1 Rafael Nadal is not so lucky. With his form declining, he needs as much court outing as possible. Before Wimbledon, Nadal had played in the ATP250 level tournament at Stuttgart and he is currently playing at Hamburg in an ATP500 event. The good thing is; the tenacious Nadal doesn’t want to give in. Not just yet. The Spaniard also entered the doubles competition though he and his partner lost in the first round. But Nadal is through to the second round by beating compatriot Fernando Verdasco. In the Atlanta Open, it is all about former top 10 player Mardy Fish’s farewell tour. Though Fish didn’t have a good beginning with a first round loss in singles, he is not yet through. Old friend Andy Roddick is coming out of retirement to team up with Fish in the doubles. The Swiss Open is the third ATP250 event currently underway at Gstaad, where two-time champion Thomaz Bellucci reached the second round. However, two other former champions fell in their first-round matches. 2013 champion Mikhail Youzhny of Russia lost to Spain’s Pablo Carreno of Spain, and 2011 winner and another Spaniard Marcel Granollers suffered the first round exit, playing against Robin Haase Netherlands.
Rafael Nadal doesn’t want to give up. The celebrated Spaniard is doing his best to regain the old glory in tennis. Therefore, while other top players are holidaying, Nadal still wants to sweat it out on courts. At the Bet-at-Home Open in Hamburg, Nadal combined with fellow Spaniard Jaume Munar in doubles but lost in the first round to the top seeds Italians Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolleli, 4-6, 2-6. In his first round singles match, however, Nadal came back after losing the first set to defeat compatriot Fernando Verdasco 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. Nadal’s second round opponent will be either Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic or Austria’s Andreas Haider-Maurer. It was Nadal’s first outing since he made the second-round exit at Wimbledon, when Dustin Brown defeated him. In another match at Hamburg, Tommy Robredo, who missed his third Bastaad Title last week, entered the second round. The second seed also needed three sets before beating the German wild-card Alexander Zverev 6-7, 6-4, 6-2.
In Atlanta, the first part of Mardy Fish’s farewell tour ended abruptly with a 6-4, 6-4 first-round loss to Israel’s Dudi Sela. Fish, who still complaints of anxiety disorders will be retiring after the US Open. But he has at least one more match remaining at Atlanta. The 2010 and 2011 Atlanta Open champion is teaming up with his friend Andy Roddick to play doubles. Roddick took a break from his retirement to help Fish complete his farewell tour. In other notable matches at Atlanta, qualifier Denis Kudla of US beat compatriot Ryan Harrison 3-6, 6-4, 7-6; Cypriot no.5 seed Marcos Baghdatis defeated another US qualifier Austin Karjicek 6-4, 6-0; no.6 seed USA’s Steve Johnson beat Slovakian Lukas Lecko 6-1, 6-7, 6-2; and Germany’s no.8 Benjamin Becker defeated compatriot Michael Berrer, who retired after losing the first set 7-5.
In the Swiss Open at Gstaad, Brazil’s two-time champion Thomaz Bellucci defeated Belgium’s Kimmer Coppejans 6-2, 6-3. But 2013 champion Mikhail Youzhny of Russia lost to Spain’s Pablo Carreno 1-6, 2-6 and 2011 titlist Spain’s Marcel Granollers went down in three sets against Dutchman Robin Haase 6-1, 6-7, 4-6. In other matches, Colombia’s 8th seed Santiago Giralso defeated Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-2. Frenchman Stephane Robert beat Brazil’s Joao Souza, and Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan won against Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.
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