Tursunov to field: "I MUST BREAK YOU." 

With Roddick's preemptive pull-out (insert Jessica Simpson joke here) from the Indy Tennis Championships, Russian Dmitry Tursunov has assumed the top seed, and in his first match he won a hard-fought brawl with a big German brick-house named Michael Berrer.

Tursunov came out firing mercilessly and it looked like he was going to end it in 12 minutes,but a mess of double-faults and hail-mary backhands gave Berrer an easy second-set victory. Ultimately the Russian's vicious forehand left Berrer lifeless and dumbfounded, as a flurry of unforced errors by the German repeatedly flew into the net and two feet deep of the baseline.

I had a chance to speak with Dmitry after his match, and true-to-form, he was mercilessly frank. "His serve was crap," he said of Berrer.

We also spoke about his recent injury, the appeal to the players of Indy Tennis, and how he's been spending his time in town. I challenged him to a match of Wii Tennis out on the concourse, and called him a coward (in so many words) for saying he was "too tired" after his 3-set match with Berrer... (pfft). He did agree to play me later in the week, so if he keeps winning, we should be able to get that video up on the NUVO web. The stakes are high... if I win, he has to play for the U.S. instead of Russia in the Davis Cup. The full video of the interview will be posted on nuvo.net later in the week.

Before Tursunov slapped around Berrer for a couple hours, Israel's Dudi Sela (No. 2 seed) had defeated Chicago's own Vincent Spadea handily in straight sets. Spadea currently leads all ATP players in career losses, and also has the longest consecutive losing streak in the circuit. The 35 year old also has been named "The World's Worst Person" and it is rumored that his kids wish he was dead. I'm only being sarcastic about that last bit. I think it's time to hang 'em up, Vince.

Also today, Carmel resident Rajeev Ram defeated Devin Britton (6-3, 7-5) and goes on to face Sam Querrey. It should be an interesting match, as both of the young American athletes are built like basketball players and have huge serves. As I mention every single time I write about tennis... Querrey broke the all-time record for consecutive aces at this tournament two years ago.

More soon--

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