Tennis: Two big names ousted early

By Dana Johannsen, Michael Brown

Second seed and world No 12 Tommy Haas was beaten by promising American Jack Sock. Photo / File
Second seed and world No 12 Tommy Haas was beaten by promising American Jack Sock. Photo / File

Two of the bigger names have already been ousted from the Heineken Open today as the tournament finally clicks into gear.

The first two days of the men's tournament at Stanley St lacked some quality and interest because the top four players received a first-round bye but all of the big names are in action today and there have been a couple of casualties.

Second seed and world No 12 Tommy Haas was beaten by promising American Jack Sock, who received a wildcard for the tournament, 6-4 6-4. Haas struggled to find his range in his first competitive outing of the year but he wasn't really allowed to by Sock, who controlled the match.

The 21-year-old American set the tone with his first serve, firing down eight aces and winning 80 per cent of his first serves.

"Some of the important points I didn't play well, that's for sure," Haas said. "You can't get much of a rhythm when he's serving pretty well or you don't allow yourself to get the return back in play.

The quickness, the little steps are definitely not there yet. It was a little bit of a struggle, no question about it. He played well when it counted."

Frenchman Benoit Paire became the second seed to fall on day three of the tournament this afternoon, slumping to a 6-3 6-4 loss to Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain - a player ranked nearly 50 places below him.

Former world number 8 Marcos Baghdatis will also be on an early flight to Australia after being ousted by unheralded American Steve Johnson 7-5 6-7 (3) 6-4. Johnson was only included in the main draw as a "lucky loser" from qualifying after Frenchman Gael Monfils withdrew on the eve of the tournament.

With the match carried over from yesterday after rain forced the abandonment of last night's late session, Johnson will be back in action this evening with a second round match up against fourth seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

German Philipp Kohlschreiber advanced through to the third round with a straight forward 6-4 6-2 win over Argentina's Horacio Zeballos.

After a tricky first-round assignment against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, Kohlschreiber was pleased with his clinical display today.

"Today was a new day. I played a great match and didn't make many mistakes. I served well, very clever with the wind. It's tricky in the wind. Overall I played a very clever and great game," said Kohlschreiber.

Kohlschreiber will meet John Isner in the third round after the big-serving American edged past Slovakia's Lukas Lacko this afternoon. Isner smashed a total of 21 aces - clocking 231km mid-way through the third set - as he overcame a slow start to defeat Lacko 7-6(1) 3-6 6-2.

- APNZ

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