By Jill Neuharth
The warming trend continues in Barcelona as the tennis heats up. First match of the day featured a pair of doubles pros, Jeff Coetzee of South Africa and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe against Andy Murray and Ross Hutchins of Great Britain.
For those of who just did a double take (no pun intended), so did I. We’re all familiar with Andy Murray for sure but Ross Hutchins? To be honest I’ve see this guy around all week and I thought he was a coach or a trainer. Regardless of his status, the two gents from Southern Africa (yes that is where Zimbabwe is), shut down the colonizers in straight sets. The duo, the last scheduled doubles team to play, now has to face the only doubles team yet to play, Simon Aspelin and Julian Knowle. The Swedish-Austrian team was scheduled to play Martin and Lopez yesterday, but the match was a walkover due to the withdrawal of Lopez with stomach injuries. Must be nice coming to an event and not playing until Thursday or Friday. Tough life huh?
On court 1, Juan Ignacio Chela finally was able to put a damper on Ernests Gulbis. The 19-year-old Gulbis, on fire for several weeks, almost defeating eventual Miami champion Nikolay Davydenko the second round of the Sony Ericsson going 6-3, 6-7 6-7, was finally shut down by the No. 37-ranked Chela. Simultaneously Spaniards David Ferrer and Tommy Robredo shut down South Americans Nicolas Lapentti and Guillermo Canas to advance to the next round.
Mario Ancic, the wildcard who polished off seeded Andy Murray, was finally sent home by Nicolas Almagro, as was Feliciano Lopez by Nadal of course. Final Spaniard Albert Montanes closed out Mikhail Kukushkin to complete the Spanish menu.
All hands on deck, “calling Dmitry Tursunov. Your ship has sailed!” German Gremelmayr, who ridded the event of the last American, James Blake, has now set Tursunov adrift in a 6-4, 6-0 match.
Last but not least, the Bryans, shut down the South American doubles team of Chela-Cuevas 6-1, 6-2. What a nice present for the boys who turn 30 this week. Wonder if all the teenybopper Bryan fans are aware the boys are growing up. Oh well, another set of twins is on the rise, the Ratiwatanas from Thailand!
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