Del Potro downs Baghdatis in Dubai

Updated 28 February 2013
0

Del Potro downs Baghdatis in Dubai

DUBAI: Juan Martin del Potro saved three match points yesterday to get past Marcos Baghdatis 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) at the Dubai Championships, while Nikolay Davydenko upset ninth-ranked Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets.
Del Potro, who reached the quarterfinals in Marseille and won his 14th title the week before in Rotterdam, appeared sluggish early, handing the first set to Baghdatis when he hit one of his three double faults. But the 2009 US Open champion served better in the second, and broke Baghdatis to go up 3-2. The two traded breaks in the third and Del Potro won it when the Cypriot hit a forehand into the net after a short rally.
“I was fighting every time of the match,” Del Potro said. “He’s a great player. He fights like me every point, and we made fantastic rallies. The crowd was enjoying the game. I’m so glad to beat him tonight in Dubai.” Del Potro said his left wrist is still bothering him, having missed most of 2010 after having surgery on it and still struggling to return to the top.
“I’m trying to keep focus on this tournament because it’s very important,” Del Potro said. “And then to come for Indian Wells and Miami, I need good results here.” In other matches, sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych made easy work of American wild-card entry Rajeev Ram, beating him 6-1, 6-3. Australian Bernard Tomic withdrew from his match against Romanian Victor Hanescu after falling behind 3-2 in the first set.
Davydenko, who reached the Qatar Open final in January, overwhelmed Tipsarevic 6-0, 7-5. It was the third tournament in a row that the Serb had lost his opening match after he injured his heel at the Australian Open.
The big-hitting Tipsarevic had trouble with his serve all match, committing six double faults and finishing with a first serve percentage of only 49 percent.
The 46th-ranked Davydenko said it was clear Tipsarevic isn’t playing at this best.
“Maybe he doesn’t have the confidence after the Australian Open,” the Russian said. “After his injury, he tried to come back. (His) game is good but is not enough now. Maybe he will feel better in America.”

Querrey advances at Delray Beach

In Delray Beach, Florida, third-seeded Sam Querrey moved into the second round of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships when fellow American Michael Russell retired with a left leg injury while trailing 6-2, 2-2 Monday.
Besides for having to save one break point in the fourth game of the first set, Querrey played confident tennis throughout the 44 minutes he was on the court, while Russell had the trainer out to work on his leg in the first set.
“I thought that was the best attitude I’ve had all year,” Querrey said. “It’s the most aggressive I’ve been all year.
“I was hitting second serve returns and taking cracks at them, and dominating with my forehand. It felt great.” The biggest upset came from 62nd-ranked Ivan Dodig of Croatia, who beat fifth-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine 6-3, 6-3.
Dolgopolov, who reached the Memphis quarterfinals last week, initially led 3-0 in the match.
From there, Dodig, a quarterfinalist here in 2011, reeled off nine straight games for a 6-3, 3-0 lead in the 57-minute match.
“It was a little bit strange. Coming from indoor to first tournament outdoor, every player is struggling a bit.
“First few games I was struggling, but I know he’s had some problems with his back.” Eighth-seeded Xavier Malisse of Belgium, a two-time past champion here, won his first-round match over Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-3, 6-3.
The 50th-ranked Malisse, who has reached the quarterfinals at the Auckland and San Jose tournaments this year, has beaten the 59th-ranked Falla all four times they’ve played.
Malisse has a 26-10 record at this tournament.
The 109th-ranked Ernests Gulbis of Latvia is the 2010 Delray Beach champion. This year, Gulbis has had to come through qualifying to reach the main draw this year.
Gulbis defeated Denys Molchanov of the Ukraine 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4 to qualify on Monday.


Celtics beat Cavs in Game 5, lead NBA Eastern Conference finals 3-2

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum attempts a layup in front of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during the third quarter of game five of the Eastern conference finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 24 May 2018
0

Celtics beat Cavs in Game 5, lead NBA Eastern Conference finals 3-2

  • Rookie Jayson Tatum scored 24 points — his ninth 20-point game of the postseason — and the Celtics held LeBron James to two fourth-quarter points.
  • Game 6 is in Cleveland on Friday night, with the decisive seventh game back in Boston on Sunday if necessary.

BOSTON: LeBron James is tired. The young Boston Celtics seem to be getting stronger.
Rookie Jayson Tatum scored 24 points — his ninth 20-point game of the postseason — and Boston beat Cleveland 96-83 on Wednesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals.
The Celtics held James to two fourth-quarter points, earning their 10th straight victory in Boston to remain perfect at home this postseason and move within one win of their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2010.
“I just enjoy playing in the big moments, in the big games. That’s when I have the most fun,” said Tatum, who needs one more 20-point game to tie Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s rookie record of 10 in a postseason.
“I can’t say it enough: We’re one win away from being in the finals,” Tatum said. “The playoffs bring the best out of people.”
Game 6 is in Cleveland on Friday night, with the decisive seventh game back in Boston on Sunday if necessary. The home team has won every game so far in the series, and none has been closer than nine points.
“We’re looking forward to having an opportunity to force a Game 7,” said James, who had 26 points and 10 rebounds but also had six turnovers. “It’s up to us to see if we can come back here for one more.”
Al Horford had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and 21-year-old Jaylen Brown had 17 points for Boston. Tatum added seven rebounds, four assists and four steals one day after finishing a single vote shy of a unanimous selection to the NBA’s All-Rookie team.
“The sky’s the limit” for Tatum , Brown said. “He’s going to continue to get better. He’s my workout partner. I expect it in myself and I expect it in him.”
Kevin Love scored 14 points for the Cavaliers, who are trying to reach the finals for the fourth consecutive season. James has played to the end in seven straight seasons.
To extend that streak, he’ll need to win two in a row.
One of them will be in Boston.
“Our focus — LeBron’s focus — is to win,” Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said. “That’s the only thing that matters.”
The Celtics opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter and nursed it the rest of the way, holding on through a four-minute scoring drought that saw Cleveland score nine straight points to cut the deficit to 83-71. But Terry Rozier hit Horford with an alley-oop to snap the skid, and that was as close as the Cavs would get.
Reserves Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart each scored 13.

FADING STAR
James had one basket on four shots in the fourth quarter, and afterward conceded that he was worn down. He finished 1 for 6 from 3-point range in the game; the Cavaliers made just 9 of 34 attempts from beyond the arc and shot just 42 percent overall.
“I had my moments, but I think everybody at this point is tired, worn down whatever the case may be,” he said. “I was still trying to make plays, put our team in position to win.”

GOONING IT UP
Boston went on a 15-3 run in the first quarter to turn a three-point deficit into a nine-point lead. The Celtics scored nine in a row at the end of the first quarter and into the second to take a 36-19 lead, their biggest of the game.
That’s when the Cavaliers fought back .
After a hard defensive play by Morris sent Larry Nance Jr. into the first row of seats, Morris appeared to wander over and say something. Nance to jump up and body checked him; Morris responded with a one-handed shove to the face.
Aron Baynes and Brown came in to break it up, and Terry Rozier put a body on Nance. After a review, the referees called technicals on Rozier, Nance and Morris. Kyle Korver made the foul shot to make it 36-20 and Cleveland went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to eight points, 36-28.
But Morris made a long 3-pointer to stop the scoring drought, and soon hit another to cap an 8-2 run that made it a double-digit lead.
Smart said the Celtics wanted to more aggressive at home.
“At their place, they were the aggressor,” he said. “That showed and they came up with the victory. We just wanted to be that team tonight.”

TIP-INS
Teams that win Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven series win 83 percent of the time. ... James had 16 points, four rebounds and three assists at the half. Tatum had 13 points, and Horford had 10 points and seven boards at the break. ... Baynes made his first start of the series, subbing for Morris. ... It took until midway through the third quarter for a Cavs starter other than James or Love to make a basket. J.R. Smith sank a floater to make it 63-50, and George Hill followed with a jumper of his own. ... The Celtics were 10-0 in the playoffs at home in 1986. ... Horford had his 7th double-double of the postseason, matching a career high he set in 2015.