Vasek Pospisil overcame sweltering heat and cramps to outlast Yen-Hsun Lu in the Atlanta Open on Wednesday.
Pospisil, the No. 2 seed from Canada, beat Taiwan’s Lu 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4. The match ended on Lu’s second double-fault of the match.
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The temperature was 95 degrees, with a heat index of 101. Pospisil looked unsteady on his feet after losing the second-set tiebreaker. He left the court following the set, prompting speculation he might be unable to finish the match.
”It was in my mind, but it’s not like me,” Pospisil said about the possibility of not returning for the final set. ”I mean, I wasn’t feeling good at all. … There aren’t conditions like these on the tour very much.”
Cramping in his legs caused him to fall to the court in the third set, but he continued without a delay.
The temperature was 95 degrees, with a heat index of 101. Pospisil asked for a towel after almost every point and seemed to need the full breaks between games to catch his breath.
”I don’t know how I would have gotten through if I had not broken that last game,” he said.
Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick won their doubles opener against Lu and Jonathan Marray on Wednesday night. Fish, who has announced his plans to retire after the U.S. Open, lost 6-4, 6-4 in singles to Dudi Sela on Tuesday.
Roddick has taken a break from his retirement to play this week with Fish, his longtime friend.
”I had a blast out there,” Roddick said. ”I was a little too excited. Mardy told me `Andy, calm down.”’
Pospisil, playing in his first tournament since reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, had 24 aces.
He was left with only singles on his schedule this week after a surprising early exit in doubles. Pospisil and Jack Sock, the defending champions and No. 2 seed, lost to Colin Fleming and Gilles Muller on Tuesday night, leaving little recovery time for Pospisil before Wednesday’s early match. Pospisil said the double match had no effect on his singles play.
Pospisil will play No. 5 seed Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the quarterfinals. Baghdatis beat Australia’s Sam Groth 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
Top seed and two-time defending champion John Isner, who had a first-round bye, will play Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic on Thursday. Stepanek beat Christopher Eubanks of Georgia Tech 6-2, 6-2.
Also Wednesday, No. 7 seed Gilles Muller beat Jared Donaldson 6-3, 6-2. Muller will Japan’s Go Soeda, who upset No. 4 seed Adrian Mannarino of France 6-2, 6-4.
Bob and Mike Bryan, the No. 1 seed in doubles, beat Groth and Chris Guccione 6-2, 6-1 in a match that lasted only 45 minutes.