Murray, Del Potro set for Davis Cup re-match

Murray, Del Potro set for Davis Cup re-match

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Britain’s Andy Murray (L) shakes hands with Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro during a training session at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Scotland, Thursday. — AP
Britain’s Andy Murray (L) shakes hands with Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro during a training session at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Scotland, Thursday. — AP

GLASGOW — Olympic final opponents Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro will resume hostilities in Friday’s opening Davis Cup semifinal singles match between holder Great Britain and Argentina in Glasgow.

The duo fought out an intense men’s Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro last month, with Murray eventually prevailing after more than four hours to claim a second successive gold medal.

Thursday’s draw paired them in the opening rubber at Glasgow’s hard-court Emirates Arena, with Kyle Edmund then taking on Guido Pella.

Murray, the world No. 2, will team up with brother Jamie in Saturday’s doubles against Federico Delbonis and Leonardo Mayer.

Andy Murray will tackle Pella in Sunday’s penultimate singles match before Edmund, who reached the fourth round at the US Open, and world number 64 Del Potro bring the curtain down.

Britain beat Belgium 3-1 in last year’s final on clay in Ghent to claim a first Davis Cup crown since 1936.

The British team, captained by Leon Smith, overcame Serbia in this year’s quarterfinals, while Daniel Orsanic’s Argentina defeated Italy.

The winners of the tie will play either Croatia or France in the final in November.

In Croatia, Richard Gasquet faces teenager Borna Coric in the opening singles of the Davis Cup semifinal between injury-hit France and host Croatia also Friday.

Rising French star Lucas Pouille then takes on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic at the Kresimir Cosic Hall in Zadar.

France has the clear advantage in doubles, with Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert — the top-ranked doubles players in the world — up against Ivan Dodig and Marin Draganja.

In reverse singles Sunday, Gasquet faces Cilic and Pouille takes on the 19-year-old Coric.

Bouchard advances

Eugenie Bouchard came through her Coupe Banque Nationale opener in Quebec with a minimum of fuss as two seeds departed.

Bouchard, the top seed at the WTA International event in Quebec City, brushed past Mandy Minella 6-3, 6-4 Wednesday.

It was an otherwise bad day for the seeds as Evgeniya Rodina and Samantha Crawford fell in straight sets in second-round matches. Crawford coughed up 10 double faults in a 6-4, 6-1 loss to fellow American Lauren Davis.

Seventh seed Rodina, meanwhile, slumped to a 6-4, 6-3 defeat against Julia Boserup.

Teenager CiCi Bellis continued her run, reaching the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Danielle Lao. Qualifier Tereza Martincova is also into the last eight after overcoming Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.

China crisis for Japan Open organisers

In Tokyo, local favorite Naomi Osaka was bundled out of the Japan Women’s Open by China’s Zhang Shuai Thursday, piling more misery on beleaguered tournament organizers.

After losing the top two seeds earlier in the week, sixth seed Zhang overpowered 18-year-old Osaka 6-3, 6-2 to reach the Tokyo quarterfinals.

In other second-round matches, third seed Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan crashed out, thrashed 6-2, 6-2 by Japan’s Kurumi Nara, but American seventh seed Christina McHale lived to fight another day by beating Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson 2-6, 6-2, 7-6.

Elsewhere, American Alison Riske crushed Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-3, 6-1, while Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic beat Magda Linette of Poland 6-2, 6-7, 6-3.

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