Gulbis falls in Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand ( – Ernests Gulbis was one of three
top seeded players to lose Wednesday at the Heineken Open, a final tune-up
for the Australian Open.

Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely defeated the second-seeded Gulbis 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 on
the hardcourts at ASB Tennis Centre.

The tournament lost two other top seeds, including No. 3 Roberto Bautista
Agut, who retired from his match against Adrian Mannarino after dropping the
first set and falling down 2-1 in the second

No. 5 seed Tommy Robredo pulled out with what he said was a sore left leg,
opening the door for lucky loser Lucas Pouille, who took full advantage by
beating Michael Venus 7-5, 6-4.

No. 4 seed Kevin Anderson moved on with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 win over Jan-
Lennard Struff and eighth-seeded American Steve Johnson beat Pablo Carreno
Busta 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-1.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas knocked off No. 9 seed Yen-Hsun Lu 6-2, 6-4 and American
Donald Young and Alejandro Falla were also winners.

Young beat Diego Schwartzman 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 and Falla topped Kenny De Schepper
6-2, 6-4.

Two-time winner John Isner is not defending his title this year after beating
the aforementioned Lu in last year’s final.

This year’s champion will earn $84,500.