- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Playing your doubles partner in a singles match is like fighting your best friend. It’s never easy, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Last night in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic’s first round, the French doubles team of Antony Dupuis and Cyril Saulnier faced each other in a singles match. Saulnier, the No. 7 seed, made short work of his teammate 6-3, 6-4 and advanced to the round of 16. He will face either qualifier Yeu-Tzuoo Wang of Taiwan or Belgium’s Gilles Elseneer.

“Sometimes you have to play your doubles partner that you practice with every day,” Saulnier said. “It’s not easy. You try and do your best.”

In doubles play Monday, Saulnier and Dupuis defeated Jim Thomas and Jordan Kerr 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Yesterday marked the first match between Saulnier and Dupuis.

“I know him, and he knows me,” Saulnier said. “Today was something different. Afterwards, he said, ‘Good luck for the next match.’”

Since Wimbledon, Saulnier has gone 9-3 with semifinal appearances this summer in Los Angeles and Newport, R.I.

“I tried to stay focused on my game,” Saulnier said of playing Dupuis. “I had to work a lot.”

We have an upset

Who is Adrian Garcia? James Blake would like to know. The Chilean Garcia registered the first legitimate upset of this tournament easily knocking out the fifth-seeded Blake in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.

Blake, who was the Legg Mason’s 2002 champion, was making just his second appearance on the ATP circuit after crashing into a netpost during a practice session at the Telecom Italia Masters in Rome and suffered a spinal injury. This was only Blake’s second tournament since May.

Meanwhile, this was Garcia’s first hardcourt tournament of the year and only the second of his career on the surface. Garcia will play Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu in the next round.

Seeds are holding

Other than third-seeded Sjeng Schalken’s surprising retirement because of fatigue after one set Monday, and Blake’s loss last night, the top seeds are playing true to form. However, crafty South African Wayne Ferreira gave No.6 seed Alberto Martin a scare by winning the first set and taking the third set to a tiebreaker.

Ferreira’s powerful forehand sprayed balls all over the place and ultimately led to his demise. Up a break in the third set, Ferreira couldn’t control his forehand volleys and lost to the Spainiard 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).

Although not quite a household name, the 33-year-old Ferreira owns the record for consecutive Grand Slam tournaments played (55), surpassing Stefan Edberg’s mark of 54 earlier this summer at Wimbledon.

The battle of the qualifiers

Perhaps qualifying does have it’s privileges, especially if you get paired with another qualifier in the main draw. Harel Levy, who had to choose between soccer and tennis while growing up in Israel, fought his way through the 32-player qualifying draw. Levy then rallied to beat Serbian Nenad Zimonjic 6-7 (7-9), 7-5, 6-3.

By beating Zimonjic and advancing to the round of 16, Levy is guaranteed to take home $8,300. Next up for Levy is No.4 seed Robby Ginepri.

Long Monday

Fans who like staying up late and watching tennis got what they wanted Monday, when a couple of matches did not conclude until after midnight.

Fourth-seeded Robby Ginepri had a three-set slugfest against Spain’s Alex Corretja, the 2000 Legg Mason champion, on center court. The up-and-coming Ginepri and clay-court specialist Corretja entertained the sparse crowd in the wee hours with the best tennis of the tournament’s first day, trading one superb shot after another. When the match concluded at 12:26 a.m., Ginepri had advanced with a 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-3 win.

In a match that ended at 1:04a.m., Russian Dmitry Tursunov, the No.8 seed, rallied to defeat France’s Oliver Patience 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Going the distance

Eight of the first 10 matches went the full three sets, including one doubles match. Second-seeded Lleyton Hewitt’s 6-1, 6-2 dismantling of Danish veteran Kenneth Carlsen and Schalken’s retirement were the exceptions.

Rain delay

Play was suspended for approximately 40 minutes during the first set of three first-round matches because of light rain.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide