CINCINNATI - The Associated Press
Bernard Tomic advances to the second round of the Western & Southern Open. REUTERS Photo
Bernard Tomic of Australia beat American
Ryan Harrison 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the first round of the Western & Southern Open on Aug. 12.
James Blake overcame a sluggish start - five unforced errors in the first two games - to beat South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-4, winning both sets on aces.
Blake came in ranked No. 106 in the world and knocked off the 32nd-ranked player, his biggest upset of the season.
“Everyone in the locker room is making fun of me for being the old guy, saying I should be in the coaching box,” the 32-year-old Blake said. “Tonight I had a little bit left.”
Andy Murray is the defending champion in Cincinnati, but a worn-down one after the greatest moment of the Scot’s tennis career.
He barely had time to celebrate his Olympics gold medal win over Roger Federer at Wimbledon, spending the next day doing interviews and having dinner with his friends. The following morning, he was on a plane for Toronto and the Rogers Cup.
After two days of matches, he withdrew last Thursday because of the sore knee and tiredness from the hectic few days. Murray blamed the soreness on having to adjust overnight from Wimbledon’s soft grass to the hard courts.
“Going onto a new surface, that presents new challenges,” Murray said Sunday. “I felt good after winning the gold medal, but coming over to play on hard courts, your body starts to hurt a little bit, you’re sore in the joints.
“You have to work on different shots as well. So that can occupy your mind a bit. You’re not feeling great straight away. Switching surfaces is a new challenge, something that’s taken me a few days to adjust.”
Murray will be one of the top draws in a tournament missing Rafael Nadal, who dropped out because of a sore knee, and defending champion Maria Sharapova, who is recovering from a stomach virus.