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Querrey Upset In Newport Opener; Hewitt Advances

Newport, U.S.A.

Smcyzek© Kate Whitney LuceyWorld No. 120 Tim Smyczek knocked out top seed Sam Querrey.

Top seed Sam Querrey suffered a first-round upset at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, falling to fellow American Tim Smyczek 6-4, 7-6(8) on Tuesday. Querrey fired 16 aces, but dropped serve twice, while the 120th-ranked Smyczek saved nine of 10 break points faced.

“My first serve percentage was low,” said Querrey, the 2009 finalist. “I just think it’s lack of rest over the past couple of weeks. It was pretty sunny on the one side, so it was a little difficult. I couldn’t really find a flow out there. I just felt off the whole time.”

The 25-year-old Smyczek, who has 11 tour-level wins, called it one of his biggest victories. “It’s pretty neat to play Sam,” said the Milwaukee native. “He’s been one of the top Americans for a long time, and somebody I’ve tried to catch up to, so it means a lot for me to have gone out there and played well and come away with a win.”

Smyczek will next face Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over American Rhyne Williams. Mahut captured the grass-court title last month at the Topshelf Open in ’s-Hertogenbosch.

Returning finalist and No. 4 seed Lleyton Hewitt was untroubled in an all-Australian first-round match against Matthew Ebden, capitalising on five of seven break points in a 6-4, 6-1 victory.

“I made a massive improvement in the week I was here last year, and I got a lot more confident with the matches I played back-to-back,” said the former World No. 1. “I went to the Olympics straight after here and played fantastic, played as well as I played in a long time… That got my year back on track.”

American Rajeev Ram, the 2009 singles and doubles champion, dismissed Swiss qualifier Adrien Bossel 6-2, 6-2. Meanwhile, former finalist and wild card recipient Prakash Amritraj eased past Italian Flavio Cipolla 6-2, 6-3 in 55 minutes. 

Ivo Karlovic made a winning return in his first match since mid-April, following his hospitalisation with viral meningitis, defeating fifth-seeded Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6(5), 6-4. 

Third seed Igor Sijsling, who Monday reached a career-high No. 55 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, needed just 57 minutes to claim a 6-4, 6-1 win over Italian Matteo Viola. Sijsling had upset Milos Raonic at Wimbledon before falling to Ivan Dodig in the third round. 

There were mixed results for two 20-year-old Americans. Jack Sock won the first set 6-2 when sixth-seeded Australian Marinko Matosevic retired with food poisoning. Denis Kudla, whom Andy Murray dreamt he was playing in the Wimbledon final, fell to Canadian Vasek Pospisil 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. 

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