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Stepanek retires hurt, Australian advances

Stepanek retires hurt, Australian advances

Australian wild card Joe Sirianni took advantage of a heel injury to Radek Stepanek on Monday to advance to the second round of the Australian men's hardcourt tennis championships.
Sirianni, 32, was awarded the match when the fifth-seeded Stepanek retired while trailing 7-6 (3), 4-3 and down a break in the second set, citing a right heel problem that flared up in the first set.
American Michael Russell beat No. 7 seed Juan Martin Del Potro in the other upset of the day at Memorial Drive.
Despite hot conditions that topped 40 C (104 F) Stepanek said it was the foot injury that forced him to retire.
"Definitely it's the hottest tournament I've ever played," said Stepanek. "Guys are coming in here and a couple of them are already sick or injured, on the court it can be around 50 C (122 F) so definitely it's maybe too much."
The exposed layout of Memorial Drive, featuring dual center courts for the tournament's final edition before it is superseded by a new event in Queensland state in 2009, afforded little in the way of shade for the combatants.
Instead they had to make do with ice towels, plenty of fluids and relaxed time limits at changes of ends.
In other results, American Sam Querrey beat Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-5, 6-4 and Benjamin Becker of Germany defeated Australian Robert Smeets 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt plays his first match Tuesday night against Dudi Sela of Israel.


Updated : 2021-08-01 20:07 GMT+08:00