MONTREAL: Andy Murray saw his bid for a third straight ATP Masters title in Canada crushed by Kevin Anderson as the South African defeated the world number four 6-3, 6-1 in a second-round match.
Anderson served just five aces but Murray’s lack of recent competition showed as he started flat and was broken four times to start his US Open build-up on the worst possible note.
“I just felt very slow, the game seemed to be going so fast,” said Murray. “I couldn’t get anything going. I started both sets really badly which doesn’t help against someone that serves like Kevin.”
Clijsters pulls out of Toronto
Meanwhile, Kim Clijsters’ US Open title defence is in doubt after she pulled out of the WTA Toronto hardcourt tournament with a stomach muscle injury.
Clijsters was leading 6-3, 1-2 in her second-round match against China’s Zheng Jie when she hit a forehand, shook her head and departed. Despite the setback, she still hopes to defend her title at the US Open.
“I still have a few weeks and we’ll try to do everything to be ready,” said Clijsters.
Unseeded Serena Williams continued her own injury comeback in emphatic style, crushing Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko 6-0, 6-3 to book a second-round berth.
Despite the ease of her victory, she stopped short of saying she is ready for the US Open. “I would hate to be Grand Slam-ready right now, seeing as how the US Open isn’t right now, so I’ll try to peak at the right time,” said Williams. “I want to get better on a few things.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2011.
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