Kendrick upsets Spadea at Hall of Fame tournament
NEWPORT, R.I. -- Robert Kendrick followed up a strong Wimbledon performance by beating fifth-seeded Vince Spadea 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Monday.
Kendrick, a wild card entrant who missed nearly eight months after right wrist surgery last July, used a powerful serve against Spadea and showed the form that gave Wimbledon runner-up Rafael Nadal a scare in a second-round match.
Kendrick won the first two sets against Nadal two weeks ago before losing to the No. 2 player in the world.
"It's been an interesting few weeks for me. I was on center court, not a lot of people get to do that," he said. "It's a good little run I've got going here. Hopefully it can continue."
Kendrick held serve to go up 2-1 in the final set. After Spadea, a 2005 Newport finalist, hit a backhand return into the net, he tossed his racket to the grass.
Kendrick then took control by breaking Spadea in the fourth game, going up 3-1 when Spadea's backhand failed him on three consecutive points; missing long and wide twice.
He failed to close out the win on his first three match points, but Kendrick then unloaded a serve that Spadea was barely able to get his racket on before the ball sailed onto the adjacent sun-drenched court.
"I was finally able to get a first serve in," Kendrick said.
In other first-round matches, Paul Capdeville upset fourth-seeded Gilles Muller, 7-6 (7), 6-2; Michael Russell edged Benjamin Becker 6-3, 4-6, 6-4; Rik De Voest beat Lukasz Kubot, 6-2, 6-2; sixth-seeded Jurgen Melzer eliminated Razvan Sabau, 7-5, 7-5; and Igor Kunitsyn defeated Bobby Reynolds, 7-5, 6-2.
In qualifying final matches, Wayne Arthurs got past Noam Okun 6-1, 7-5; Jesse Levine edged Brendan Evans, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5; and Wesley Whitehouse ousted Lars Burgsmuller, 6-2, 6-3.
The Hall of Fame championships, the only grass tournament in North America, is held in conjunction with induction ceremonies. This year's Hall of Fame class of Patrick Rafter, Gabriela Sabatini and Gianni Clerici will be enshrined Saturday.
Defending champion Greg Rusedski withdrew over the weekend because of a hip injury, and Americans Robby Ginepri and Taylor Dent also pulled out with ailments.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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