DailyTimes | Croats tune up for Australian Open with Kooyong wins

Croats tune up for Australian Open with Kooyong wins

Croats tune up for Australian Open with Kooyong wins

MELBOURNE: Croat pair Ivo Karlovic and Borna Coric both posted victories on Tuesday as the Kooyong Classic began with injured Frenchman Richard Gasquet, one of the top drawcards, pulling out. The pre-Australian Open tune-up was forced into a last-minute schedule change when Gasquet withdrew citing an abdominal injury. Karlovic was originally set to face German veteran Tommy Haas, 38, but was switched to play France’s Gilles Simon, who had been due to take on Gasquet. The 37-year-old Croatian beat Simon 6-4, 6-7 (1/7), 10-7 in a tournament using the match tiebreak system in testing summer conditions. Fellow Croat Coric, 20, coming off a four-month injury break, beat Australian Andrew Whittington 6-3, 6-4. In Tuesday’s final men’s match at the Kooyong club, which for years hosted the Australian Open, Polish substitute Jerzy Janowicz beat Haas 5-7, 6-4, 10-4. The four-day event has brought back women for the first time in two decades, with local teenage hope Destanee Aiava losing to Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 7-6 (7/4).