- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 2, 2007

Arnaud Clement’s bid to repeat as Legg Mason Tennis Classic champion didn’t last long.

Thomas Johansson spotted Clement the first five games of the match in losing the first set but dug in and beat the No. 4 seed 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 last night.

Johansson will face Paul Capdeville today in the third round. A win would put him in the quarterfinals for just the second time in 18 tournaments this year.

It didn’t look like Johansson would have that chance after the first set.

“I thought it couldn’t get any worse than that,” Johansson said. “It can only get better. That’s what you have to tell yourself all the time.”

In the third set, Clement closed the ninth game with two aces, reducing Johansson’s lead to 5-4. But Johansson closed out the last game after winning the first three points.

“[Clement‘s] one of the quickest guys on the tour,” Johansson said. “You can feel that on the court. Sometimes you feel you’re playing really well, but the ball comes back to you all the time.”

Goldstein bows out

Paul Goldstein didn’t let his loss dampen his mood. There are only so many times he’s able to play in front of his family, and the Rockville native seemed to take defeat well after Radek Stepanek beat him 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the second round.

“Some other guys have more matches … here because they win and I don’t,” Goldstein, who has made 11 appearances at the Legg Mason and advanced as far as the quarterfinal in 1999, said with a laugh.

Goldstein’s family normally watches his matches on the Internet. But yesterday they saw in person how he struggled with Stepanek’s serve, which Goldstein thought was hard to read. Stepanek won 78 percent of the first-service points.

Goldstein had talked with James Blake, who lost to Stepanek in the final of the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles two weeks ago. But knowing his opponent’s strengths did not help.

So now Goldstein’s family will have to follow his next match on the Internet again.

“To me, that sounds brutal to have to do that,” Goldstein said. “To see me in person is a lot more fun for them. It’s disappointing not giving them another chance to see me play.”

Isner moves on

John Isner tries to live in the moment. It’s something he taught himself at Georgia, where he was an NCAA finalist this year.

So after Isner completed his second upset of the week — this one a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6) victory over eighth-seeded Benjamin Becker in the second round last night — he wasn’t afraid to pump his fist in delight.

Becker responded by slamming his racket to the ground twice before shaking Isner’s hand. Then, after Becker walked off the court, he slammed the racket repeatedly.

Isner also frustrated Tim Henman, who fell in the first round Monday. The pair of strong performances have earned Isner a third-round meeting with Wayne Odesnik, who upset 10th-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 7-6 (10), 6-3.

“These have been the biggest matches of my life and my career,” Isner said. “I didn’t feel any pressure out there because I had nothing to lose. I went out there and wanted to do well and get lucky. I did. It’s unbelievable I won these matches the way I did.”

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