Coria knocked out, Hewitt in last four
Sydney, January 13:
The injury bug that bit Andre Agassi in Melbourne appeared to travel about 900 kilometers to the Sydney Olympic tennis complex. Its most high-profile victim was Lindsay Davenport. While Agassi’s hip injury forced him out of the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament in Melbourne five players, including top-seeded Davenport, pulled out of matches at the Sydney International.
Davenport said she was suffering from bronchitis and had to forfeit her quarter-final match against Australian Samantha Stosur. The women’s draw has already been decimated by injuries to defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne, Kim Clijsters and Jennifer Capriati.
Elsewhere, Max Mirnyi of Belarus took advantage of a retirement by his opponent for the second day in a row when American Taylor Dent, suffering from dizziness and tiredness, pulled out of his quarter-final. The eighth-seeded Dent was leading 4-3 and up a break when he decided that he could not continue.
Fifth-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia also pulled out of her match with Peng Shuai of China. Petrova, trailing 6-3, 4-2, said she was uncomfortable in the heat and could not continue.
In a singles match that went the distance, third-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia beat Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 6-4, 1-6, 6-1. She’ll play Stosur in the semi-finals on Friday.
Fourth-seeded Alicia Molik of Australia beat Fabiola Zuluaga of Colombia 6-1, 6-2 and will play Peng. In men’s quarter-finals, top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt beat Thomas Johansson of Sweden 6-1, 7-6. Hewitt will play Mirnyi in the semi-finals. Stepanek beat Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-2 in another quarter-final. He’ll play Ivo Minar of the Czech Republic in the sems after Minar’s 2-7, 7-6, 6-4 upset win over Andrei Pavel.
India’s Leander Paes had to pull out of his doubles match with a left foot injury. Paes, playing with Nenan Zimonjic of Serbia-Montenegro, turned his foot awkwardly returning a shot while up 3-1 in the first set against fellow Indian Mahesh Bhupathi and Australian Todd Woodbridge.
Second-seeded Gisela Dulko of Argentina had a 7-5, 6-2 win over third-seeded Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic and moved into final at the Morilla International women’s tennis tournament against China’s Zheng Jie. Zheng rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Li Na in an all-Chinese semis. Dulko, 19, showed some nerves in the first set but got her serve working at the start of the second and dominated the rest of her semi-final against Benesova.
Zheng had to work hard to overcome Li, who upset No 1-seeded Amy Frazier in straight sets in the first round.
Top-seeded Guillermo Coria of Argentina was knocked out of the Heineken Open on his 23rd birthday on Thursday, beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Olivier Rochus of Belgium. Fifth-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile beat American Robby Ginepri 6-3, 6-4 and will meet sixth-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina in the semis. Chela was impressive in beating Potito Starace of Italy 6-1, 7-6. Czech Jan Hernych reached his first semi-final when he beat Jose Acasuso of Argentina 6-4, 7-5. Hernych, ranked 78, meets Rochus in semi-finals.