Santoro brings down Roddick

BASEL: American fourth seed James Blake could not find a way past towering Croatian Ivo Karlovic at the Swiss Indoors on Thursday, losing their second round encounter 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.

Blake began brightly, taking the opening set with a single break of his opponent’s formidable serve.

But Karlovic, the biggest man on the tour at six-foot ten (2.08 metres), powered back to take the second set tie-break before clinching the match with a break in the final game.

The Croatian World No. 25, who has now won three out of four meetings with Blake, relied heavily on his favourite weapon — firing 24 aces to the American’s nine.

The result hampers Blake’s chances of reaching the season-ending Masters Cup tournament in Shanghai.

Currently 10th in the race for the tournament’s eight qualifying spots, the World No. 7 needed to reach at least the semifinals in Basel to improve his placing. Second seed Gonzalez, currently seventh in the Masters Cup race, overcame Croatian qualifier Roko Karanusic 6-4, 7-6(5) to set up a meeting with unseeded Finn Jarkko Nieminen.

Roddick loses

Top seed Andy Roddick slumped to a 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-4 defeat by Frenchman Fabrice Santoro in the first round of the Lyon Grand Prix tennis tournament in Lyon on Wednesday.

At Linz (Austria), top-seeded Anna Chakvetadze needed just 47 minutes to defeat Francesca Schiavone 6-0, 6-2 to enter the quarterfinals of the Generali Ladies. She was in control of the match throughout, as Schiavone double-faulted 10 times and won only eight points on her own serve in the opening set.

The results: At Basel: ATP Swiss Open: Second round: Ivo Karlovic bt James Blake 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4; Jarkko Nieminen bt Guillermo Canas 6-4, 3-6, 7-5; Tomas Berdych bt Stanislas Wawrinka 7-5, 6-4; Nikolas Kiefer bt Stefan Koubek 6-3, 6-2; Fernando Gonzalez bt Roko Karanusic 6-4, 7-6(5). First round: Nicolas Kiefer bt Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 6-1; Marcos Baghdatis bt Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-2; Stanislas Wawrinka bt David Nalbandian 7-6(5), 6-2; James Blake bt Oscar Hernandez 6-3, 6-4.

At Lyon: ATP Lyon Grand Prix: Second round: Christophe Rochus bt Mardy Fish 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 7-6(15); Alejandro Falla bt Olivier Marach 6-2, 6-1; Diego Hartfield bt Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-3; Ivan Ljubicic bt Thierry Ascione 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6 (5). First round: Fabrice Santoro bt Andy Roddick 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-4; Sebastien Grosjean bt Rodolphe Cadart 6-3, 6-2; Richard Gasquet bt Christophe Rochus 7-6(5), 6-3; Alejandro Falla bt Igor Andreev 7-6(2), 6-1; Juan Monaco bt Sebastien de Chaunac 6-7(11), 6-3, 7-6(3); Diego Hartfield bt Nicolas Mahut 7-6(8), 6-4.

At St. Petersburg: ATP St. Petersburg Open: Second round: Potito Starace bt Mikhail Ledovskikh 7-6(4), 6-2; Fernando Verdasco bt Simone Bolelli 6-4, 6-4; Dmitry Tursunov bt Boris Pashanski 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. First round: Nikolay Davydenko bt Filippo Volandri 6-1, 6-1; Fernando Verdasco bt Werner Eschauer 7-6(4), 6-1.

At Linz: WTA Generali Ladies Open: Second round: Anna Chakvetadze bt Francesca Schiavone 6-0, 6-2; Dinara Safina bt Karin Knapp 6-2, 6-2. First round: Eleni Daniilidou bt Tatiana Golovin 6-4, 0-1 (retd.); Tamira Paszek bt Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 7-5.

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